Latinos Beyond Reel

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The ASU School of Transborder Studies is hosting  “Latinos Beyond Reel”, a film that examines how U.S. news and entertainment media portray Latinos usually in a negative way.

Monica De La Torre, assistant professor for the ASU School of Transborder Studies said things have actually gotten worse over the last two decades as shown by the stereotypes of on screen Latinos depicted on a daily basis.

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Jose Cardenas: As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the ASU School of Transporter Studies is hosting an opportunity to see Latinos beyond real. A film that studies how U.S. film and news portrays Latinos.

Latinos Beyond Reel: It was the only thing my parents showed me and I didn't get to see on television which was dignity. Latinos with dignity.

Latinos Beyond Reel: A lot of unconscious racism is because of these types of attitudes have been around for so long they are the norm.

Latinos Beyond Reel: Sometimes the director says he is more like -- he goes like this, man.

Latinos Beyond Reel: Man, I only got one more wire; okay?

Latinos Beyond Reel: We are in a new millennial and these characters kee popping up.

Jose Cardenas: With key to talk about the film is the assistant professor of the ASU School of Transborder. Welcome to "Horizonte."

Monica De La Torre: Thanks.

Jose Cardenas: This is a pretty powerful film capturing what many is saying is a stereotyping of Latinos in Hollywood.

Monica De La Torre: This is a program that has persisted since the beginning of film and Latinos are portrayed in ridged roles that limit us to gang members, thieves. For women it is the fiery, spicy latino and the maid and these continue to be produced in Hollywood and haven't changed. So it is disheartening.

Jose Cardenas: This is a documentary that is going to be presented at ASU.

Monica De La Torre: So the documentary will show at ASU for Hispanic heritage month and it is being sponsored by the School Transboarder Studies with a dialogue I will be leading and facilitating with audience members about how these stereotypes affect us and how we change them.

Jose Cardenas: And also about the source; right? We will run a quick without audio but it focuses on the role the media plays in perpetuating these stereotype.

Monica De La Torre: The media fortunately focuses on stories that present us as foreigners, present us as thieves in terms of how the stories that are told in say the newscast focus on our criminality.

Jose Cardenas: You see one of the images up there beeners crossing the border. It is hard to believe in this day and age you would have that in the media.

Monica De La Torre: In 2016, we had a study that showed only 54 speaking roles were given to Latinos out of the hundreds of top grossing films. For women it is worse. There was 72 films without any Latinos in any appearance in the top 100 grossing Hollywood films. Our silence continues.

Jose Cardenas: Do you think it is getting worse?

Monica De La Torre: Is definitely getting worse. We have the research to prove it is getting worse. The push toward changing our reputation in the 1960s and '70s with the Chicano movement and the advocacy groups have waned. We got to a point where there was more speaking roles for Latinos in Hollywood.

Jose Cardenas: It was better and we regressed.

Monica De La Torre: We are back.

Jose Cardenas: What about the latest movie by Salma Highac? It seems to be counter to that.

Monica De La Torre: It was a refresher representation in that it had a woman but it didn't ascribe to the traditional roles of Latinos. The main character is a heel -- healer so the deals with that.

Jose Cardenas: She has to deal with stereotypes.

Monica De La Torre: She deals with it in the m mundane and every day. Like in moments where you get asked where were you from and I am from here and tell me about where you are really from. So day-to-day racism we all deal with.

Jose Cardenas: This is heritage Hispanic month?

Monica De La Torre: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Other activities going on?

Monica De La Torre: Yes, more film screenings, cultural events that acknowledge the diversity among Latinos. There is a lot of information throughout the month that is open to everybody.

If people want to get more information about this where can they go to?

Monica De La Torre: The School of Transborder Studies or do a search for ASU Hispanic heritage month.

Jose: Well, I think we have additional information to put up on the screen. Looking forward to seeing this. There is no admission charge?

Monica De La Torre: No, it is free.

Jose Cardenas: And you will be there to talk about it?

Monica De La Torre: Yes, I will.

Jose Cardenas: Thank you for joining us. That is our show tonight. For Arizona PBS and "Horizonte," I am Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

"Horizonte" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.

Monica De La Torre, ASU School of Transborder Studies

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