There have been several articles floating the internet regarding an Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism study (University of Southern California) that said that Hispanic females are more likely to appear naked or scantily clad on-screen, on top of Latinos being vastly underrepresented, anyway. Especially compared to our high ticket sales and $1 trillion purchasing power.
I have a favor to ask: Get on twitter. Tell me your favorite film (past or future) that features a Latin@ actor/director/writer and use the hashtag #supportlatinofilm – here’s the trailer for mine – and below are my suggestions for your weekend reading.
Race/Ethnicity in 600 Popular Films: Examining On Screen Portrayals and Behind the Camera Diversity :: via USC/Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism – read the study here for yourself.
One Absurd Statistic Shows Just How Bad Hollywood’s Latino Problem Is :: via Arts.Mic – I don’t know if the author read the whole study. He points to the “banner year” for black films, which the study showed didn’t coincide with continued under-representation of blacks in film since 2007. The author feels that politics is the solution.
Shut up and Take Off Your Clothes :: via Latina.com – This article, by a magazine targeted at Latinas, actually bothered to interview a Latina actor.
Why We Can’t Blame Latinas for their Hollywood Image :: via Latina.com – According to this article, because there’s nothing else, and hey, we gotta pay the bills.
This problem is complex one and these articles all pointed to different sources for the disparity and solutions. The NY Daily News article quotes Demián Bichir as saying that Latinos should support smaller films with Latino directors/actors in lieu of blockbusters. He said:
“You would think that with Hispanics being so powerful in terms of spending that there would be a Latin superhero by now. You’d think Marvel would say, ‘Super Charro is here! Come see him fight against the bad guys!’ But in terms of superheroes or spectacular films like ‘Transformers,” the Hispanic community already is packing the theaters, so it’s not necessary.”
Let me make this clear: I don’t think that feminism can’t exist on par with owning your sexuality or being beautiful. Plenty of white actors are also playing strippers, and their nudity is often also very controversial. So if you think the role is good, take it. But it can’t be the only way we are represented.
I think the problem lies in a deep-seated national narrative that ignores Latinos. It also reflects our under-representation in other areas, such as politics. Quick! Think of Latino politicians! I thought of two off the top of my head. Uh, there are 100 Congress persons and 435 Representatives. And hey! I’m not far off. The 2011 Directory of Latino Elected Officials says there are 2 Latino senators and 31 Latin@ representatives. Um, that’s 2 percent and 0.07 percent, respectively.
I heard an NPR interview with Helen Mirren this week about lack of meaty roles for women in general and what she said really struck me, and I’ll leave you with the quote as something to chew on:
“Don’t worry about roles in drama. That’s not your concern. Worry about roles for women in real life, because as night follows day, roles for women in drama will follow. And when you have a female president of America — which hopefully, maybe you will very soon — when you have female heads of hospitals, of legal firms, of schools, of universities, you will have roles for women in drama.”
Happy Independence Day! I jazzed up our barbecue with some homemade pico de gallo. Make your long weekend interesting with these reads:
Author Duncan Tonatiuh’s books featuring Latino children :: via NBC News – I’ve definitely got this on a to-buy list for my daughter. He seems to tackle tough topics that Latinos face everyday. The artwork is fantastic.
Univision’s “Sexy” Women :: I’ve always rolled my eyes at the women prancing around in bikinis. It always seems pointless to me. But as I read this article, I realized that though I’m a feminist, I let this go because that’s the way Sábado Gigante has always been. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s time for a change.
2014 International Latino Book Awards Winners :: via Latino Literacy Now – get the full list here.
Deported Veterans of America :: via VICE News – VICE interviews a group of U.S. military veterans who were deported in Tijuana.
Leal Award Winner Announced :: via University of California – Demetria Martínez has been awarded the 2011 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature.
What is Latino? :: Maria Browning discusses the soon to be published The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity. Also, a search for “Latino” on Amazon results in like, over 1,000 hits! And, it includes mainstream books! OMG There are like so many books about them LOLZ. Sigh. I think that the news flash for this book isn’t that it is supposed to point out that Latinos are a diverse group, or to further Other-ize us, but that the essays explore identity formation in the Latino community, a fraught topic I know I have struggled with. P.S., there’s a tiny excerpt on the University of Arizona Press website linked above.
Another Award Winner :: via The University Star – Alex Sanchez accepted the 2011 Tomás Rivera Book Award for his book, Bait.
Watching TV in Spanglish:: via the New York Times – NYT writes about Telemundo’s plans to incorporate more English, invite non-Latino guests to the new Cristina show, plus other programming. Grab your sombrero and dale un grito, folks – of course the article isn’t complete with the words salsa and saucy. And who says Univsion doesn’t throw English into the mix? I distinctly remember this hysterical Tom Hanks spot from a few months ago:
Weekend Sonrisa – So here’s your weekend funny. The other day at a meeting with the group I volunteer with, we were actually able to crack jokes while discussing how the immigration law is affecting students. Because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Full disclosure: the Colbert Report always cracks me up, anyway!
This week there was a lot of news in nuestra literatura! Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
Spanish Harlem author dies :: via the New York Times – Piri Thomas is a new discovery for me. I searched my library’s catalog for Down These Mean Streets, but they don’t have it. Added it to my Amazon wishlist!
Latino theater in Dallas :: via Dallas South News – Eliberto Gonzalez discusses his experiences with racism growing up and his theater company.
Latino children’s literature:: via scrippsnews – Monica Brown, a Pura Belpre Award winner, discusses her books for children.
Rising Stars:: via Huffington Post – Pablo Manriquez writes “7 Young Latinos In Online Media To Watch In 2012.”
Quinceañeras! :: via NPR – Malin Alegria discusses role models, spanglish, and the lack of literature for Hispanic teens.
Okay, so I disappeared for a while. I’ve been busy wrapping up Hispanic Heritage Month, this week at two elementary schools. This climate in Alabama dictates that we do our part in celebrating our heritage, highlighting our contributions to our communities, and helping our Hispanic students to feel included. I was at two elementary schools on Thursday, and one video showed me reading a bilingual book (of course!) to a crowd of 480 students (I can’t find the video now, thank God.) But here is a video of those bright and shiny faces at one of the schools, which accompanies the local news story on the event. (By the way, this is the school’s FIRST Hispanic Heritage Month celebration even though they have the highest population of Hispanic students in the city. Ay ay ay.)
So here’s the weekend roundup:
Nuestra Palabra Texas-wide book tour :: via The Venture – Can I use this as an excuse to go home?
Review of Moraga’s A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000 – 2010 :: via The Feminist Texican – I just discovered this blog and am excited to read more! I’ve read essays by Moraga but haven’t read a full book. I’ll add it to my long list of must-reads.
Tomorrow is National Latino Aids Awareness Day in Michigan :: via Boyne City Gazette – Never heard of this one, but hey, it’s a great issue to address! I think this is a Michigan-only thing.
Watch Lost in Detention on Oct. 18 :: via Presente.org – Watch the organization’s interview with Maria Hinojosa on her documentary on the Secure Communities immigration detention program.no comments