Joaquin Castro Slams Hollywood in Variety Op-Ed
On Aug. 18, Joaquin Castro, Chair of the Hispanic Caucus, criticized Hollywood for their lack of Latinx representation.
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In a recent op-ed in Variety, Chair of the Hispanic Caucus Rep. Joaquin Castro opens with a dark story from last summer that still haunts many Latinos. An armed man got in his car, drove 600 miles to El Paso, Texas and killed people he thought were Hispanic as he walked through a Wal-Mart.
Castro goes on to explain his worry over racism, political banter, and the negative depiction of Latinos in popular media made out to be murderers, rapists, and labeled as criminals in America.
On screens, the main roles Latinos have historically played are gang members, maids, or the mistresses.
In America, he explains there is a misunderstanding of who Latinos are.
“Prejudice has existed in the United States for generations, but the image of our community created by film and television has done little to counter bigoted views, and too often has amplified them,” he wrote.
In his eyes,the entertainment industry creates the defining image of Latinos and the stereotypes that end up representing us all.
That is what America sees, and believes.
Castro notes that a study done by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative displayed that Latinos only had a speaking role in less than 5% of movies, and of those characters half of them were in criminal roles.
The congressman explained that this failure to represent Latinos is at the heart of the creative authority, such as in writing and producing roles, and especially as directors and executives.
The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus disclosed how since last year, the caucus has been meeting with studios and talent agencies. They’ve heard the points that executives make about the disproportion of Latinos in the movies, and that it’s not okay.
“Latino stories are universal, and more than capable of selling tickets and winning awards if told right. Hollywood has a civic duty to tell Latino stories — and by so doing, to take a stand against hate. The only question is whether Hollywood will finally give Latinos the opportunity to tell our stories,” Castro closed.