Oct 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House to host forum on Latinos in media

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) listens as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) Photo: Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images

The White House is hosting a forum Thursday on how Latinos are portrayed in media and Hispanics' lack of representation in film and television.

The big picture: The scheduled panel discussions during Hispanic Heritage Month comes after a recent preliminary U.S. Government Accountability Office report found that Latinos are severely underrepresented in the media industry.

Details: The White House is partnering with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to host a series of discussions to highlight Latino contributions across the nation's media ecosystem.

  • This first in a series Thursday will feature media executives and talent, including CEOs of the film and music industries.
  • Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) will moderate two panels with entertainment figures who are pushing for more representation.

The intrigue: Castro, a former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has been outspoken about the lack of Latinos in film and in newsrooms. He asked for the GAO audit.

  • That GAO report found that Hispanics only made up around 11 to 12% of the media industry workforce from 2014 to 2019, even though Latinos represented 18% of workers in all other industries combined.
  • In 2019, about 8% of staff in newspapers and publishing were Hispanic, the report said.

What they're saying: “For generations, Latinos have contributed to the success of the United States, but far too often our stories are missing from the American narrative," Castro told Axios.

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