Despite the fact that Latinos are the largest minority group in the country, the entertainment industry continues to lack relevant content and portrayal.
Experts like Chriss Dodd, Chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, believe that Hollywood should not assume that a single cultural approach will find broad appeal, and that studios must make sure to not engage in tokenism.
“I am confident we can do a better job of serving this growing population with themes that resonate strongly with them,” says Dodd. “You’ve got to be more sensitive about the subject matter than to just have Spanish subtitles.”
Visionaries such as director Robert Rodriguez are actively working to improve the situation. Rodriguez recently announced the launch of El Rey, an English-language network geared toward second- and third-generation Latinos who are bilingual or English-dominant, giving them television to identify with.
“I have 5 children of my own,” says Rodriguez. “They are bilingual, like most second and third generations. But they speak primarily in English and they couldn’t find anything on television that represented who they are in this country,” he added.
El Rey network is set to launch on Comcast in 2013, and it will be owned, directed, produced, and will star Latinos, while still appealing to mainstream young adult audiences.