Actors of color contend with stereotypes and typecasting on a daily basis. In Hollywood, even in the ‘post-racial era’ an actor’s ethnicity can severely limit the types of roles they are considered for. A Latino actor often has no choice but to audition for roles as a gardener, maid, or janitor and be asked to fake an accent. It’s not much better for blacks.
Despite the success of black actors in mainstream blockbusters and African-Americans having won Oscars in all the major acting categories, it is still rare to have an all-black cast or to see a black actor in a leading role in Hollywood. Most of the roles offered in mainstream movies to a person of color are that of the token minority. Either that or you play a criminal, thug, gangbanger, or sometimes a reformed criminal trying to change your life around.
What if you happen to be Latino and black? Well, things get even more complicated. A few years back, mun2, an English-language television network targeting U.S.-born Latinos, took on this very issue in a short web documentary called Black and Latino. Actors, musicians, and journalists like Christina Milian, Tatyana Ali, and Judy Reyes take on the question, “What does it mean to be black and Latino in the U.S.?”
Watch the full doc below: