Esta página no está disponible en español.
Hispanics A Growing Group, But Not On TV, Study Says
BY LYNN ELBER
June 25, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Hispanics are the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority, their buying power is increasing -- yet they remain barely visible on the major broadcast networks, according to a study released Tuesday.
Hispanic characters received only 3 percent of screen time in fall 2002 programs on the six major networks, according to the study by the University of California, Los Angeles. Hispanics make up 13.5 percent of the U.S. population.
White characters received 81 percent of screen time, while non-Hispanic whites make up about 70 percent of the population. Black characters were on-screen 15 percent of the time, while the ethnic group represents 12.7 percent of the population, according to the second-year findings of the five-year study. Asians held only 1 percent of screen time. American Indians were deemed ``invisible.''
''There's no question that the last place you'd know Latinos are the largest minority is by watching television,'' said Lisa Navarrete of the National Council of La Raza advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
''It's a measure of how unreflective prime-time television is of what's really going on in America and what America looks like,'' she said.
The network lineups announced for fall 2003 reflect scant improvement, said Alex Nogales, head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition in Los Angeles.
Two Hispanic-themed sitcoms, The Ortegas and Luis, are set to debut, joining the successful George Lopez. But other shows like Kingpin and Greetings From Tucson are off the air.
Spanish-language television doesn't make up for Hispanics' exclusion from the dominant networks, Nogales said. ''America doesn't know who its neighbors are. We live among everybody else,'' he said.
Other findings of the study, titled Prime Time in Black and White, show little progress toward diversity, according to Darnell Hunt, the principal study author and director of UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.
The research was based on a content analysis of 234 episodes of 85 comedies and dramas airing on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and WB during three weeks in October and November 2002.
Racial representation varied by network. White characters were most overrepresented on WB and NBC; blacks were most overrepresented on UPN.
''This tendency is problematic,'' Hunt said. While it may reflect the ``current reality of race relations . . . it works to reinforce that reality by splintering . . . televised experiences that we might otherwise share across groups.''