Exploring the Latino Metropolis: A Brief Urban Cultural History of US Latinos


Latinos in Hollywood is more of a recent issue in United States culture. According to an article in the Huffington post, Latinos make up about 17% of the United States population, but only hold 5% of the speaking roles in films. Furthermore, this issue of misrepresentation goes beyond the screen. Even producers and directors are not correctly represented in film. At the 2016 Oscars, there was controversy over about African Americans being poorly represented in Hollywood. In an effort to raise awareness of the lack of Latino representation in Hollywood, the Brown Ribbon Campaign was developed. This campaign was led by Latino celebrities such as Eva Longoria, and urged guests at the Oscars to wear brown ribbons as symbols that call attention to the fact that Hollywood diversity is no longer simply black and white. The face of the campaign, actress and model Eva Longoria declared, “I can’t wait for the day when ‘diversity’ isn’t just the hot topic of the moment, but a true reality that is reflected on screen” (2).

Moreover, when Latinos are in film, they usually play stereotypes. For women, the roles are usually sexualized, while for men, Latino roles are usually played by “macho men.” Also, Latinos are often portrayed in occupations such as house maids, taxi drivers and other low-paying jobs.  Actress Sofia Vergara plays Gloria from Modern Family, and the role is extremely sexualized. This character has caused controversy in Latin American community. Latino women have spoken up about this character and their opinions that Gloria gives a false representation of Latino women. Hopefully in the near future, Latinos will be better represented in Hollywood.

Eva Longoria on Forbes List. Digital image. Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Hanson, Hilary. "#BrownRibbonCampaign Reminds Us Oscar Diversity Isn't Just Black and White." The Huffington Post. HuffPost, 27 Feb. 2016. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.

Lallo, Michael. Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett in Modern Family. Digital image. The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media, 11 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Latimer, Brian. "Latinos in Hollywood." Nbcnews.com. NBC Universal, 22 Feb. 2016. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.


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