New Study Spotlights Lack Of Latinos in Film On Screen and Behind the Camera

Jennifer Lopez the Second Act
James Devaney/GC Images

Jennifer Lopez arrives to Regal Union Square Theatre, Stadium 14 for the world premiere of 'Second Act' on Dec. 12, 2018 in New York City.

A new study titled “Latinos in Film: Erasure On-Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” spotlights the ongoing lack of Latino representation in the film industry. 

Released Monday (Aug. 26) by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, the report examined the prevalence of Latino characters on-screen across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018, as well as the presence of Latinos working behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors.

According to the study, only 4.5 percent of all 4,268 speaking or named characters across the last 12 years were Latino and only 3 percent of films featured Latino leads or co-leads across the 100 top-grossing movies from 2007-2018. The most frequently hired Latino actors for a protagonist role include Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Eugenio Derbez, and Jessica Alba.

Latinos behind the camera are also virtually absent, highlighting that only 4 percent of directors and 3 percent of producers in these movies were Latino. Only one Latina director worked across the 1,200 films examined. 

Across the 100 top-grossing films of 2018 alone, 47 films were completely missing Latino characters, 70 films were missing Latinas, 95 movies did not feature a Latino character with a disability, and 98 were missing Latinos from the LGBT community, documenting another key finding: the erasure of Latino roles in popular movies. 

An additional qualitative analysis explored stereotyping of Latino actors and characters across 200 top films from 2017 and 2018, with the majority of Latino actors depicted as criminals, and 17 percent of all Latino speaking characters portrayed as poor or with a lower income.

As for solutions, the study includes several suggestions that individuals, organizations, and companies can use to increase the opportunities for Latino actors and content creators to work in Hollywood.

For the full report, click here.


Our newest study is out today, with a focus on Latinos in film. The study, Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies, is released in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, and examines top-grossing films to assess the prevalence and portrayal of Latino characters, directors, producers, and casting directors. The results reveal that Latino characters fill 4.5% of all speaking roles across 1,200 movies, and that over the last 12 years and 1,200 films, 568 did not feature a single Latino speaking character. Only 4% of directors and 3% of producers of these movies were Latino. A qualitative analysis also explores the way Latino characters are depicted in these narratives. Read the full study at the link in our bio. #LatINclusion #StartWith20Percent #ascj

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