Arts & Life, Film & Television

Putting a spotlight on Latinx representation in Hollywood

There has been a substantial rise in Latinx representation in mainstream Hollywood productions in the past decade, as it recently occurred with Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal with the popular recent HBO series, “The Last of Us.” It also occurred as early as 2015 with Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

While big strides have been made with many award-winning performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars and some of the highest-grossing shows on streaming like “Wednesday” on Netflix, there’s no question that there is still much work to do.

According to a report from Variety magazine in December, Netflix’s “Wednesday” was in the top three most-watched shows in Netflix’s history with a total of 752.5 hours of viewership within its first 28 days of release.

The Latinx population has been underrepresented in nearly every industry for the past couple of decades, and film and media are no strangers to this as well.

According to an Axios Media Treads article on the lack of Latinx representation in media, “In film, Latinos represented just 5.2% of lead actors and 5.1% of co-lead and ensemble actors. Only 3.5% of screenwriters and 2.6% of directors were Latino.”

So while statistics seem discouraging, representation in just the past year has improved in major mainstream Hollywood films and shows on streaming services.

Just last year, there were some incredible leads in the MCU like Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” showcased captivating performances from Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Tenoch Huerta as the titular villain Namor, while displaying an excellent representation of Mayan cultures in its story.

The Star Wars franchise saw some great representation starting with the previously mentioned sequel trilogy films that included Oscar Isaac as one of the supporting actors. Most recently, however, there’s a trend of providing more Latinx lead roles in the franchises’ Disney+ original series.

“The Mandalorian,” which premiered in 2019, currently stars Pedro Pascal as the show begins its third season. “Andor,” a prequel to the 2016 film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” starring Diego Luna, is considered to be one of the highest-rated Star Wars projects in recent years with a number of nominations at the Golden Globes, WGA and SAG Awards.

While these are examples of Latinx representation in Hollywood, there’s still so many other ways to celebrate the culture. If what the community has witnessed recently indicates the future, it paints a hopeful picture for the Latinx community, who will have so many heroes, characters and stories to look up to.

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