EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will be the target of a second protest in as many months by Latino community leaders who claim the studio has a “dismal” record of hiring Latinos in front of and behind the cameras. A similar protest was held August 25 in front of Paramount’s main gate.
The demonstration, set for Wednesday, is being organized by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Latino Media Council, which also have called for a boycott of the studio’s films. Their leaders say they plan to deliver a petition signed by more than 12,000 supporters that calls on Paramount to sign a memorandum of understanding to increase its employment of Hispanics.
NHMC says its research shows that Paramount “has the worst numbers amongst the major six film studios when it comes to Latino representation in front and behind the camera. According to the research, out of the top 100 grossing films of 2016, Paramount Pictures produced 12 films. None of the 12 films featured any Latino directors, writers, or a lead Latino actor. NHMC also looked at the top 100 grossing films of 2017, of which Paramount Pictures produced eight films. None of the eight films featured any Latino writers or a lead actor.”
After the boycott was announced in July, Paramount said it had met 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.”
Wednesday’s protest, which will be held at noon again outside the studio’s main gate, will be led byNHMC president and CEO Alex Nogales; former L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina; Thomas A. Saenz, chair of the NLMC and president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and actress Franceli Chapman-Varela.