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Hispanics feel invisible, stereotyped in television and movies 

Los Angeles—As National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off, a time of celebration, culture and pride, a new report by the Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM)™, released by the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) shows Hispanics feel more invisible and stereotyped than any other group when it comes to their representation in television programs and movies. 

AIMM’s latest Cultural Inclusion Accelerator™ Report Card leverages insights gathered by CIIM which has become an industry standard used by over 160 top brands to evaluate viewers’ perceptions of ads based on cultural attributes. CIIM tested nearly 800 TV shows and movies with over 69,000 evaluations of Hispanic viewers. Participants evaluated shows and movies based on 10 key cultural attributes: cultural values, representation, celebrations, pride, respect, identification, authenticity, unbiased, respect, and positive role models. 

Key Hispanic findings include: 

59 percent of Hispanics said they felt invisible or under-represented in media. 

75 percent said they saw stereotypical portrayals in shows and movies. 

Hispanic bilingual media viewers are 23 percent more likely than White Non-Hispanics to rate content with a D grade (Culturally Deficient). 

The pipeline of Latino-themed content in English continues to be dismal. 

Only three networks scored an A grade (Culturally Authentic): Univision, Telemundo, and ESPN, followed by 6 networks with a B grade (Above Average Culture): VH1, Peacock, CBS, ABC, CW, and NBC. 

10 networks scored a C grade (Below Average Culture): Bravo, Fox, HBO, YouTube, OWN, FX, Hulu, Showtime, Disney+, and BET. 

3 streaming platforms: Netflix, Prime Video, and Apple TV scored a D grade (Culturally Deficient). 

The most culturally relevant genres are Live Sports, Novelas, News, Game Shows, Talk Shows, Reality, and Comedy/Drama. 

AIMM’s findings align with broader industry trends. The most recent example: this year’s Emmys fell short when it came to championing diverse talent and stories. Of the 25 Emmy awards, only seven honored non-white talent, including three performers and four behind-the-scenes directors and writers. In specifically analyzing Emmy nominated shows, AIMM’s Cultural Inclusion Accelerator™ Report Card also found: 

Hispanics are 30 percent more likely than White Non-Hispanics to rate Emmy nominees with a D grade (Culturally Deficient). 

Emmy nominees are more likely to be grade A (Best-In-Culture) for every multicultural segment except Hispanic Bilinguals. 

The most culturally relevant Emmy categories among Hispanic Bilinguals are Variety Sketch Series, Short Form Comedy/Drama/Variety Series, and Structured Reality Programs. 

Despite big promises made to invest in diversity and inclusion, the entertainment industry has a long way to go. AIMM is committed to holding the industry accountable and has a legacy of doing so. During the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmys, AIMM issued a powerful, award-winning PSA called, “Here,” featuring celebrities such as Lin- Manuel Miranda, Billy Porter, Daniel Dae Kim, and other A list celebrities declaring their intention to stay both visible and vocal on-screen to ensure all identities are authentically represented. 

“While we’re thrilled to see some progress made, we are unfortunately not surprised by our new findings, given we too feel stereotyped and underrepresented in the content we consume every day,” Lisette Arsuaga, co-founder of AIMM, said. ”It’s time for the industry to see us, see me and see all, and we’re committed to holding the industry accountable to make real change. As a Latina woman, I’m tired of being invisible on-screen, or seeing Latinos and Latinas represented in ways that demean our segment. It’s time to put an end to this. As marketers, we have the power to invest in programming that celebrates us and does not denigrate us.” 

Overall, according to the Cultural Inclusion Accelerator’s tracker, diverse audiences (Asian-American, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous Communities, LGBTQ+, and People with Disabilities) are 20 percent more likely to rate content as culturally deficient and 26 percent less likely to rate content as culturally authentic. Alarmingly, diverse audiences are also 1.5 times more likely to see stereotypes in content and 1.3 times more likely to feel invisible or under-represented, signaling it is time for real change to be seen. 

The Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card is based on AIMM’s proprietary measure tool, CIIM™ (Cultural Insight Impact Measure) which has tested nearly 800 shows and movies, most of which were selected by utilizing the latest Nielsen audience composition data, while some additional shows/movies were included from trade publication reports based on inclusivity and storylines. This ongoing study has over 275K individual CIIM Content evaluations across 7 segments (47K Asian, 64K Black, 5K Indigenous Communities, 69K Hispanics, 53K LGBTQ, 60K People with Disabilities, and 84K White Non-Hispanics). Respondents self-selected movies and/or shows that they are currently watching or have watched. From there, respondents were asked a series of questions on each of their selected shows or movies based on 10 key cultural attributes:  cultural values, representation and celebrations, pride, respect, identification, authenticity, unbiased, respect, and positive role models. The cultural attribute scores are aggregated in a proprietary algorithm that determines their ultimate CIIM cultural relevance and score/grade.  

SOURCE ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM)