2/03 LATISM party: Latinidad in Mainstream Pop Culture

© Vadim Ledyaev | Dreamstime.com

While the presence of Latinos and Latinas in mainstream news and in popular culture in the United States reinforces the idea of a Latin Explosion, the relative visibility for Latinos in the mainstream pop culture has yet to manifest its true power in terms of the number of opportunities available and/or the way Latinos are represented.

For example, in the latest annual diversity report card released in December 2010 by The National Latino Media Council (NLMC) reflects a decline in Latino diversity at the four major television networks – ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

In Hollywood, on the other hand, while there seems to be an increased interest in Latino-targeted productions – what with Latinos representing more than 1/4 of all frequent moviegoers in the U.S. – very few Latino-produced films productions actually make it to the theater. Of the ones that do, few present an accurate image of the Latino reality, relying mostly on stereotyped, limited-scope roles for Latino/a actors.

In music, with very few exceptions, Latino singers and musicians seem to be eternally relegated to an ethnic alter-space, forever banned from entering the mainstream radar.

Tonight on LATISM, we’ll take a look at the intersection of our Latinidad and pop culture in terms of imagery, audience and media representations.

  • Does the presence of a few Latinos/as in mainstream Hollywood films and television indicate a change in the entertainment industry?
  • What can the portrayal of Latinos/as on U.S. and Latino media tell us about the socio-cultural dynamics in the US?
  • What factors influence the production and consumption of popular culture, in particular for communities of color?
  • Should Latino/a pop culture be kept in isolation or only within the U.S. context?

Join us!

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