Friday, May 25, 2012

The battle for more Latinos on TV continues

You're watching prime-time television and what do you see? Chances are you're more likely to see a group of aliens than Latinos. In a recent Huffington Post article, Janet Murguia commented on the disappointing television season for our community. Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), writes, "How bad is it? When NCLR put out its landmark series of reports on Latinos on television two decades ago, we quoted writer-director Jesus TreviƱo's quip that you were more likely to find someone from outer space than a Latino on television. Well, 20 years later, there will be no Latino family starring on a prime-time network television this September, but there will be a family of space aliens." Imagine that?

I ask myself sometimes whether this is important or not. Today it most definitely is. The Census reported there are now 52 million of us residing in the U.S.--nearly one in five Americans. If none of this is reflected on TV then we are watching fiction. Yes most TV shows are fiction but our society can change for the better when we watch ourselves...our own culture on TV. Some can argue there are no Latino actors/actresses appropriate for certain roles. However, this is only the case because (as Murguia stated) we are considered the "other." It's not the norm in cinema. Then again some people would not want to become the norm, we need to stay true to our culture.

The arguments will go on forever. Do you think this change will happen soon? How should networks approach getting Latino audiences?
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