Noteworthy News; Latinos Hardly Visible on Prime-Time Television, UCLA Study Finds

Article excerpt

Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States yet they make up only 4 percent of regular prime-time characters on network television, according to a new study by UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center.

"Looking for Latino Regulars on Prime-Time Television: The Fall 2002 Season" also revealed that more than one-third of prime-time television series have no minorities as regular characters, or minority regular characters. Minority regular characters are concentrated on relatively few shows and within only a few genres, according to the analysis. Nearly nine out of 10 series have no Latino regular characters, the study showed.

"The Latino population is now the largest minority group in the United States, accounting for 13 percent of the national population," writes Alison Hoffman, the study's author and a research assistant in the Chicano studies center. "Its proportion in the Western United States is even more dramatic, nearly one-third of California and the plurality of Los Angeles. Yet, while located in L.A., prime-time television turns its cameras away from the city's largest ethnic/racial group and presents a fictional world without Latinos."

The study was conducted from October to December 2002 and focused on the top 10 genres on television; it found that Latino regular characters or hosts are missing from six of the top 10 genres. …


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