Too few roles for Hispanics in the top Hollywood movies
By Jesse Washington ,AP
August 5, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
A new study shows that less than 5 percent of actors in top Hollywood films are Hispanic, and that Latinas are more likely than women of any other ethnicity to appear partially or totally naked on screen.
The study of the top 100 grossing films in 2013, by the University of Southern California's Annenberg school, found that the make-believe world of movies generally does not reflect what America looks like in real life.
About 74 percent of the actors in the study were white, compared with a U.S. population that's 63 percent non-Hispanic white.
Hispanics, who are 17 percent of the nation but had 4.9 percent of film roles, were the most underrepresented group on screen. That's despite the fact that Hispanics bought about 25 percent of all movie tickets and are more likely than any other group to go to the movies, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Black characters represented about 14 percent of those in the films, which is comparable to America's 13 percent black population. However, 17 percent of the films examined in the study did not have a single black speaking role, and half the films had a smaller percentage than the population, which indicates that a few movies with predominantly black casts balanced out the many movies with few black actors.
2013 was called a banner year for black actors, due to the success of films such as "Fruitvale Station," `'Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "12 Years a Slave," which made Steve McQueen the first black winner of the best-director Oscar.
Hispanic stars such as the Dominican Zoe Saldana, the New York-born Puerto Rican Jennifer Lopez and the Spaniard Antonio Banderas appeared on the big screen.