A New Disabled South
May 30, 2023
written by V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi
Latinxs have long had a difficult relationship with Hollywood. We are constantly fighting to get representation on the silver screen, despite being 62.1 million strong in the U.S. When we are in films, our roles often perpetuate long-held Latinx stereotypes, such as women only being maids, men only being criminals, and everyone not knowing how to speak English or speaking with heavy accents. Movies don’t get how varied we are as a people, don’t show the multifaceted Latinx experience. And it’s been happening since the film industry started in 1894.
In an effort to document, analyze, and share Latinx film history–including the problematic trends we need to change–I’m highlighting several major Latinx stars who played Latinx stereotypes. Some of these actors were able to pivot into different, more nuanced portrayals, while others leaned into the type, basing their public personas on Hollywood’s limited definition of them…
LATINA MEDIA CO is a partner of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality.