Two Latino organizations say they will stage a demonstration outside Paramount Pictures on Saturday to protest the studio’s “dismal hiring record of Latino talent.” The protest will be led by leaders of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Latino Media Council, which announced a boycott of the studio last month.
The organizer said that this will be the “first of many” demonstrations targeting the studio to force Paramount to sign a memorandum of understanding “to increase representation of Latinos in front and back of the camera.”
When the boycott of the studio was announced last month, Paramount said that it had met recently with NHMC “in a good faith effort to see how we could partner as we further drive Paramount’s culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Under our new leadership team, we continue to make progress – including ensuring representation in front of and behind the camera in upcoming films such as Dora the Explorer, Instant Family, and Limited Partners – and welcome the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with the Latinx creative community further.”
Organizers say that Latinos make up 18% of the US population and 24% of movie audiences, but “remain the most underrepresented minority in Hollywood. How Latinos are perceived on screen greatly impacts the way they are treated. In the current political climate, it’s important for us to be seen and viewed in a positive manner.”
NHMC says that its research has found that Paramount “has the worst numbers amongst all film studios when it comes to Latino representation in front and behind the camera. Out of the top 100 grossing films of both 2016 and 2017, Paramount Pictures produced 20 films. Of the 20 films, there were only seven Latino actors, one Latino director, and zero Latino writers.”
Leading Saturday’s protest, which is set to begin at 11 AM, will be Alex Nogales, NHMC president and CEO; Thomas A. Saenz, chair of the National Latino Media Council and president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and producer Marissa Herrera, a member of the NHMC Action Network.