Latinos Continue to Be Underrepresented in Media Jobs, Federal Study Finds

Latino workers made up an estimated 12% in 2019

US GAO

A new federal study tracking employment trends through 2019 finds that Latinos are still severely underrepresented in U.S. media jobs, accounting for just 12% of total employees; the total was 18% in the total U.S. workforce. This comes a week after an USC study found that only 7% of 2019’s top grossing films had a Latino lead.

The study, published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, defined media to include film, television, publishing, and news. Employment varied widely between sectors of media; 8% of publishing subsector workers were Latino in 2019, while the film and video industry totaled 16%.

However, the actual representation within every sector also varied by occupation. On average, the GAO found that 11% of jobs across 13 different media occupations were held by Latino workers. But broken down more specifically, the numbers tell a different story. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which provided data through 2018, service jobs — such as cleaning, food service, valets or security — by far had the largest percentage of Latino workers at 22%.

By contrast, only 8% of professional employees were Latino, and the lowest percentage senior management and executive positions, was a pathetic 4%.

“The media industry, and Hollywood in particular, is still the main image-defining and narrative-creating institution of American society. This missing narrative, this systemic exclusion, it’s not only dangerous for Latinos, but it’s also dangerous for everybody,” Texas Representative Joaquín Castro said in a speech at the National Press Club after the study was released.

“The media industry, and Hollywood in particular, is still the main image-defining and narrative-creating institution of American society. This missing narrative, this systemic exclusion, it’s not only dangerous for Latinos, but it’s also dangerous for everybody,” He continued.

Read the full study here.

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