Being Latino gives me the opportunity to comprehend the intricate web of our culture, which is braided with colorful strands of history, tenacity, and passion.

Latino culture is a stunning mix of customs, tastes, sounds, and histories, as varied as the United States itself. We encompass all possible combinations of Afro-Latino, Asian-Latino, Indigenous, and European origin, as well as other multicultural and multiracial groups. Latinidad is too large to be contained within a single census checkbox. However, the representation of our culture on television frequently falls short of expressing the real core of who we are.

The numbers are astounding: with a $3.4 trillion purchasing power, Latinos account for over 19% of the US population. Many of us have strong brand loyalty, sticking with goods and businesses that truly represent our culture. We are a market force to be reckoned with because of our enormous demographic strength. Among the companies who recognize this are Nike and Ross. With non-Hispanic customers, neither appears in the top 10, while with Latinos, they are ranked 4 and 6, respectively.

READ MORE: After The Writers’ Labor Agreement With Studios, Hollywood’s AI Challenges Are Far From Resolved

Latinos have just as much, if not more, purchasing power in Hollywood, where we will account for 29% of all ticket sales in 2020. You would think that the industry would make sure that its programming reflects its audience in response to our turnout, but you would be mistaken: Just 5.1% of main actors and 4.5 percent of co-lead/ensemble actors are Latinos at the moment. In 2022, there were less than 3% of Latino talent working as directors or screenwriters. In terms of television, the statistics are not much better: 1.4 percent of showrunners and 2.6 percent of leads are Latino.

READ MORE: Joan Baez’s Private Hardships Are Revealed In This Film

The language in which material for us is created should likewise be true and accurate in its portrayal of Latinos on television. It’s not shocking to see that studies reveal Latinos consume more English throughout generations: Both a 2011 Pew Research Center study and a 2016 PricewaterhouseCoopers report note that a sizable majority of Latinos prefer English-language media, and that this preference is increasing among younger generations. Nevertheless, despite all of this well-established information, TV executives still consider Latinos to be a niche audience.

The industry has not yet caught up for a few reasons. In the past, it made sense for the initial wave of Latino TV networks to be in Spanish since the majority of the country’s Latino population was made up of recent immigrants. For a long time, the main Spanish-language networks were the first choice for anyone looking to connect with Latinos. However, as events have changed, so too has the composition of the Latino community; in fact, the recent increase in the number of Latinos in the United States has been mostly driven by births. English-speaking Latinos offer a chance for exponential growth, while Spanish-speaking Latinos continue to be a viable and large audience.

READ MORE: The Actors’ Union And Hollywood Studios Have Halted Negotiations

The false belief that mass market entertainment satisfies our entertainment needs if we speak English and were born and reared in the United States is another reason why our media doesn’t reflect reality. Though subtle, the distinction is nonetheless quite significant. We are amused, but since we are not represented, we are deprived of a feeling of community. Since Latinos watch media in English, there is little financial motivation for the business to change.

Imagine the possibilities for the film industry if it were to fully embrace Latino talent casting and storytelling as a means of true inclusion. Indeed, we were central to the success of the films that (finally!) captured our experiences earlier this year: Blue Beetle soared to the top of the weekend box office, and Latinos outperformed us in terms of our share of the attendance (39 percent as opposed to our typical 30 percent, according to PostTrak). According to the company, in the meanwhile, we made Flamin’ Hot Searchlight the most-watched streaming movie ever. However, the industry is not particularly motivated to alter the narrative because it is content with the current state of affairs. This strategy is completely misguided. This is a social justice issue in addition to being a wise commercial move because perception is shaped by the media.

It has been my mission to make sure that Latinos are accurately and truthfully portrayed on television. For this reason, I have invested both personally and professionally in Fuse Media to provide a platform where Latino and other culturally diverse producers can tell their experiences in a genuine manner. But I can’t handle it by myself. We cannot provide our consumers with really reflective programming until we produce storylines in which Latinos weave the narrative and until we give Latinos important roles in the cast, crew, and executive teams.

We require content that tells the tales of our daily contributions to society and integration into the nation that, for a great number of us, is both home and our only place to have ever lived. It is imperative that we confirm the decision-makers who approve projects and choose showrunners have a thorough understanding of the complexity and diversity of the Latino audience. Seeing these same decision-makers lose their DEI leaders has been unsettling, raising concerns about how sincere Hollywood is about diversity.

It’s time to assess the direction that our business is taking as the film and television industries struggle with the effects of the strikes and attempt to make sense of the quickly evolving media landscape. If we don’t take use of the vast and expanding purchasing power of the Latino audience, we won’t be able to realize our full economic potential. Despite our diversity, as a group we are not incomprehensible. All you have to do is give it a shot; the rewards will be abundant.


Download The Radiant App To Start Watching!

Web: Watch Now

LGTV™: Download

ROKU™: Download

XBox™: Download

Samsung TV™: Download

Amazon Fire TV™: Download

Android TV™: Download