USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Presents New Study in Partnership with NALIP


A newly released study finds that underrepresentation and stereotyping are the hallmarks of Latino portrayals in popular movies.

Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have released a study probing an extensive analysis of Latinos in film in partnership with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment. 

The study examines the state of Latino representation across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 and Latinos working behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors. An additional qualitative analysis explored stereotyping of Latino actors and characteristics across 200 top films from 2017 and 2018, revealing the following:

  • Top films and the entertainment industry, in general, fall behind population averages when it comes to the representation and inclusion of Latino characters and Latinos behind the camera. 
  • Solutions for change and hopes that creating a formidable pipeline for Latino filmmakers will urge companies to hire Latino talent for roles within various forms of storytelling.

The new study examines underrepresentation and stereotyping of Latinos in film and identifies opportunities for change. Key solutions proposed in this report suggest positive outcomes through partnering with industry decision-makers to recruit and sign Latino talent, offering support for film initiatives that specifically target Latino filmmakers, and creating tax incentives for productions with Latino individuals above the line.

NALIP has been successful in producing & showcasing original short projects funded by partners like Home Box Office (HBO), Time Warner Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with support from WORLD Channel. Many of which have received distribution and showcased in festivals around the world. HBO has licensed 65% of the shorts produced under the Latino Lens Incubator. In addition to incubators, NALIP is working with strategic partners like CineSony to create opportunities for diverse creatives and are collaborating on short film competitions.

As a result of NALIP's programs and resources, in 2019 20 original short films have been incubated, produced and showcased, and, through the inaugural Shorts Narrative Incubator, a finalist fundraised $4million for the feature length version of her Latino Lens short film, currently in development.

Additionally, results show the following: 

  • There was no meaningful change in Latino representation in film over the time period examined.
  • Latinos are rare in positions behind the camera, such as directors, producers, and casting directors.
  • Stereotyping of the Latino community remains common in film.
  • Latinas are particularly underrepresented in film, with the majority of top-grossing films missing Latina characters altogether.
  • Representations of LGBT and/or disabled Latinos were almost nonexistent in the films examined.

NALIP’s 20th anniversary, which was celebrated in 2019, was a true testament to all of the organization's work, mission, and advancement. Each year our team works on improving and growing our list of our programming with informative workshops, screenings, signature, and staple events. We continue to grow our presence not only nationwide but on a global level. In 2019, NALIP participated in over 60 events including key festivals like Sundance (Video), , SXSW (Video)), Tribeca (Video), Berlinale EFM  (Video) , and Cannes  (Video). NALIP has fortified partnerships via collaborations that have built and provided innovative workshops, incubators, competitions, forums and education opportunities. With several year-round programs, NALIP has served the needs of diverse content creators including, producers, performers, writers, directors, and industry professionals with the tools and mentorship they need to advance in their careers within the entertainment industry.

Read the Whole Study Here