Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population and 24% of its frequent moviegoers, yet they rarely see themselves on movie screens.
A new study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that Latino representation in film lags significantly behind the U.S. population and that, over the last decade, the number of Latino characters in the most popular movies is virtually unchanged.
The report, released Monday and conducted in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, analyzed the 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 and some 47,268 speaking or named characters. It found that in that 12-year period, 4.5% of all speaking or named characters were Latino, and just 3% of leads or co-leads.
Over that time, the rate of representation has hovered between 3-6%, researchers found. In, 2018, there were Latino speaking characters in 5% of the most popular films — the same rate as in 2008.