According to a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Latinos are underrepresented in the media industry. If that sounds like a story you’ve heard before, it is. How many diversity reports have we read in the last few years that show the severe lack of Latinos in films, TV series, publishing houses, and newsrooms?
Remember earlier this year when Netflix released its first-ever inclusion report that was self-critical about its failure to hire Latinos across all areas of the company, including in leadership positions? So, what’s different about this latest report? Well, it was requested by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who is never one to stand idly by when he doesn’t see enough diversity in the ranks.
On Tuesday, Castro, a member and former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, spoke at the National Press Club about some of the data the report revealed. This includes Latinos making up approximately 12 percent of employees working in film, TV, news, and publishing in 2019, despite the 2020 Census showing that Latinos are nearly 19 percent (62.1 million) of the total U.S. population.
“Despite our growing population, Latinos still face a persistent invisibility in American society,” Castro said. “We’ve been largely excluded by American media, including Hollywood. What this represents is a void in narrative. That black hole has been filled over the years by stereotypes that have been perpetrated by American media.”
Castro said that he hopes the report is “a wake-up call” to the media industry about how its lack of diversity negatively impacts the country. “The fact is that some of America’s most renowned media institutions are the largest and longest perpetrators of cultural exclusion,” Castro said. “[It’s] shocking, and it should alarm all of us.”