Latino/Hispanic Roles in Film

There are few roles created for Hispanics and Latinos in Hollywood. Even with the roles that are created, a lot of them fit the stereotypes that we know, and may not love. In recent years, the lack of Hispanic actors has been observed considering the growth of the Hispanic population in the United States. A lot of the diversification of films can be started in the room that their scripts are written in, and without Hispanic writers, there isn’t a need for expanding roles. If they aren’t making the calls, they are not being represented in the media. But with the growing population of Hispanics, they are the largest demographic of moviegoers without representation.

The number of Latinos and Hispanics in acting programs has increased and has given Hollywood the opportunity to gain more diverse talent. Actors and actresses from Mexico, Central, and South America have also begun to branch out into American films. Then with the growth in audience, it sparks a more political demand for representation.

In December 2016, Walt Disney Studios released Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a stand-alone film about a group of rebels that stole the blueprints to the Death Star, leading to its destruction in A New Hope. One of the most honorable factors of Rogue One was Captain Cassion Andor, portrayed by Mexican actor Diego Luna. He’s a strong character, a hero who doesn’t reference the negative stereotypes that most Latino characters have. Diego Luna did not bother to hide his accent, making it clear of the diversity of the cast. Luna serves as a bridge to the gap of Star Wars and the cultural differences found in our world.


Cassion/Luna has inspired toys and action figures that we wouldn’t normally see for Latinos and Hispanics. It gives the community more of a reason to support the arts and it inspires other cultures to join.

Another work of entertainment that has given Latinos a voice is Pixar’s Coco. Coco is the story of Miguel and his love for music, despite his family being completely against it. He travels through the Land of the Dead to meet a famous ancestor and learns the history of his family and the importance of their love. Coco is symbolic for Latinos because of a highly regarded producer, Disney, puts Mexican culture on a big screen for everyone.

It’s beautiful to watch a work of art such as Coco, with colors, music, and actions that many Hispanics have grown up with. It represents a shift in what American culture, accepting that it is made up of many different parts from around the world. Hispanic kids will stop believing that they are inferior and that their stories are unacceptable from those of their classmates. Their differences are beautiful and make them special.

Releasing Hispanic works in entertainment are an inspiration to younger generations. When they see diverse storylines, they feel included and feel as if they have the potential to be the writers and directors of work as well. The representation of different cultures is growing in America, something of large importance as we continuously accept a diverse number of people into our country. Not only does it mean acceptance, but it affects the attitude of the kids growing up in the United States, rather than the land of their parents and ancestors. They don’t live in the confinement of stereotypes, but instead, they are given the ability to branch out to different sectors and set higher goals. Representation, even if just starting in the media is setting a fire to advance culture well-deservingly. I would recommend checking out Coco in theaters now, as it doesn’t just support those who worked on the film, but it gives an opportunity to the industry for more growth culturally.


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