Congressman Joaquin Castro and some of his colleagues are asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate a proposed merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery. Castro believes the merger will limit programming and make it more difficult for creators from our communities to land jobs in the media and entertainment industry.
“I’m urging @TheJusticeDept to investigate @Discovery’s proposed merger w/ @WarnerMedia – particularly the concentrated exclusion of Latinos,” Castro tweeted.
Castro, a Democrat from Texas, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) sent a letter to the Justice Department Monday (December 6) expressing their “serious concerns” that the proposed $43-billion merger would “lessen competition” and reduce the number of employees from our communities in the media industry.
“Consolidation is likely to eliminate competition for these workers and reduce the number of employment opportunities for Hispanic individuals,” the letter reads. “That is why it is so crucial for the Department to vigorously enforce the antitrust law to combat monopsony power, leading companies to compete for the most talented, productive, inclusive and diverse workforces.”
Castro also shared dismal numbers with the Justice Department that showed the lack of diversity in Hollywood. “Despite representing nearly one-fifth of the population, Hispanics are systematically the most underrepresented on-screen compared to other demographics’ population share. Less diversity and inclusion on-screen and across the media industry leads to a perpetuation of harmful stereotypes.”
Castro has said before that numbers like those coming out of diversity reports from major media companies should “alarm all of us.” Earlier this year, Castro led a charge to add more films from our communities to the National Film Registry, including Selena, Frida, and Raising Victor Vargas.