Latino Leaders Blast Paramount Studios for ‘Shameful’ Lack of Latino Talent

Members of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and National Latino Media Council held a news Tuesday in Pasadena about Latino representation in Hollywood. (Credit: NHMC)

Latino leaders are zeroing in on Paramount Studios for “exclusion” of Latinos in its films.

Members of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and the National Latino Media Council (NLMC) held a news conference Tuesday in Pasadena, where they accused Paramount of having “shameful numbers when it comes to Latino employment, in front of and behind the camera.”

In a press release posted on the NHMC website, they urged the public to sign a petition to demand the studio include more Latinos in its films. They additionally called for a nationwide boycott of Paramount’s films, including Tyler Perry’s upcoming Nobody’s Fool and the war film Overlord.

The leaders urged the studio to sign a memorandum of understanding, explaining how they plan to hire more Latino talent.

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The groups said they decided to target Paramount because of all the Hollywood studios, it has the “worst record when it comes to hiring Latinos in front and behind of camera.”

Of the top 100 grossing films the studio released in 2016 and 2017, they said just 20 films had Latino talent, including seven Latino actors and one director. The movies did not have a single Latino writer, they said.

Paramount did not immediately respond to Urban Hollywood 411’s request for information. However, the studio issued a statement to Deadline.

“We recently met with NHMC in a good faith effort to see how we could partner as we further drive Paramount’s culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging,” the statement said. “Under our new leadership team, we continue to make progress — including ensuring representation in front of and behind the camera in upcoming films such as Dora the Explorer, Instant Family, and Limited Partners — and welcome the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with the Latinx creative community further.”

During Tuesday’s news conference, Latino leaders also released the results of a poll they commissioned titled “Latinos, Movie Watching, & Views on Representation in Film.”

The survey of 423 adult Latinos in the U.S. was conducted by Latino Decision.

It showed Latinos are avid consumers of film and television content. However, respondents said there are not enough Latino actors or stories about their community on screen.

According to a July 2017 study by USC, Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population and buy 24% of movie tickets, but Latino actors only appeared in 3.1% of the speaking roles in Hollywood films.