Davila, Representation of Latinos in Media

“As part of their struggle for political enfranchisement since the 1960’s, Latino populations have become increasingly concerned with their own representation and involvement in all types of media” (Rodriguez 1997; Noriega 2000).

The Davila reading touched on many key debates and conflicts surrounding Latino culture, as well as how the media and outsiders portray them. I absolutely love the first line of the reading, “Latinos are hot, and we are not the only ones to think so.” The Latino culture is full of some of the world’s greatest art, music, and food. The energy and positive vibes surrounding Latinos has driven them to the center of debate among many scholars. Many consider Latinos to be the hottest new market, which is not surprising at all. However, what is surprising is how Latinos are portrayed in the media. For the most part, as my video shows, they are degraded and are given a negative image by the media. Many portray them as criminals, irresponsible, and even dirty. This past election, President Trump made comments that brought even more negative attention to Latinos, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” (CNN). This quote is coming from the President of the United States of America, which is crazy!

These generalizations about Latinos are harmful.​ The media portrays them as if they are hurting the American way of life. Hollywood portrays them as maids, thugs, and immigrants. Even some of the most popular Latina actresses, such as, Sofia Vergara of the popular television series Modern Family, have been criticized for taking the Latina stereotype too far. Vergara is an attractive middle-aged woman, who has an extremely thick accent, detailed curves, and marries an older white male in the show. In some episodes she is portrayed as being not nearly as smart as some of the other cast members, and at times her accent is so thick that you cannot understand what she is saying. In response, the highest paid woman on television responded with, “What’s wrong with being a stereotype?”

 

Well, the answer is simply that it offends a lot of individuals, who feel as though being a Latino in the United States is not easy, and they do not need one of the most famous stars representing their culture in a “mocking” way. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with Vergara and how she acts, but talking with one of my Latino friends the other day, she said, “We do not need Sofia to make it even harder for people to view us as equal.”

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