How One Woman Is Fighting To Get More Latino Movie Roles

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Big media still doesn't get it. Latino movie roles made up 2.7% in the top films in 2016. Across broadcast scripted television, only 6% of roles went to Latinos.

When casting director Carla Hool moved to Los Angeles from Mexico City in 2011, she found stereotypical Latino movie roles written without much depth: “The gardener, the immigrant who crossed the border, the gangster, the chola… It was pretty disappointing,” Hool told BuzzFeed News, about the roles she’d see most often.

Now, seven years later, Latino representation in Hollywood remains largely unchanged. In its 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report, UCLA found that Latinos made up 2.7% of roles in the top films in 2016. Across broadcast scripted television, only 6% of roles went to Latinos, and on cable scripted shows, the percentage drops to 5.6%. In the Academy Awards’ 90-year history, only five actors have taken home Oscars.

But Hool, who ran one of Mexico’s first official casting agencies before launching Carla Hool Casting in LA, has seen the industry take baby steps toward creating more opportunities. She pointed to the sprinkling of Latino-centric projects that have cropped up over the years. There’s the CW’s Jane the Virgin, a telenovela-inspired romantic comedy; Netflix’s Narcos, a series based on the life of Pablo Escobar; and Disney Pixar’s Coco, the wildly successful, Oscar-winning animated film about a Mexican boy’s musical dreams — the latter two of which Hool cast.

“Hollywood has realized that the Latino market is huge,” she said. Coco, in particular, crossed the $800 million mark at the worldwide box office this month, and it’s Mexico’s biggest blockbuster to date. Hool also praised Netflix for taking a chance on Narcos, which is now in its fourth season. “I think these projects have helped things start shifting.”

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Mexican-American medic who documented Nazi camp horror dies at 93

Victor Landa March 12, 2018

Riverside, California (CNN)Two dozen veterans held US flags and stood at attention as they and dozens of family and friends bid farewell to Anthony Acevedo, one of the nation’s great […]

Donald Trump and The Frito Bandito

Victor Landa March 15, 2018

Since the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, those of us born and raised along the U.S. / Mexico border have been continually marginalized into a geographic […]

Carlos Guerra, journalist and civil rights activist

Victor Landa April 9, 2018

In the 1960s, Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville) was a hotbed for political activism. The campus was the home of several Mexican American civil rights organizations.  Among them […]

Two Dems poised to make history as first Texas Latinas in Congress

Victor Landa March 7, 2018

Two Latina candidates who won their respective Democratic primaries on Tuesday night are likely to make history in November as the first Latinas from Texas to serve in Congress. Candidates Veronica Escobar […]

LULAC Sues Texas, Others Over Electoral College Vote System

Victor Landa February 26, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A coalition of activists and attorneys is suing Texas and three other states over their “winner-take-all” system of allocating Electoral College votes. The goal is to […]

New Mexico Native James Borrego to Become First Latino Full-time NBA Head Coach

Victor Landa May 9, 2018

Spurs assistant coach James Borrego not only landed his first full-time head-coaching job on Tuesday, he made NBA history. The AP is reporting that Charlotte owner Michael Jordan has completed a […]

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump over ‘Dreamers’ immigrants

Victor Landa February 26, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a setback to President Donald Trump, requiring his administration to maintain protections he has sought to end for hundreds of […]

Latino directors, movies may nab major Oscars, but once again, no actors

Victor Landa March 4, 2018

As the 90th Academy Awards approaches, the nominations garnered by Pixar’s “Coco,” Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” and Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy-horror “The Shape of Water” may very well triumph as some of […]