Latinos Portrayed in the Media

December 16, 2011
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“Until recently, Latino portrayal in the media has had negative effects for the Latino
community… Latinos have not only been portrayed negatively through stereotypes, but have also been
largely ignored and excluded from most American media’ (Latino portrayals in media, 1). Latinos in
American media are seen as poor, idiotic, criminal minded humans with a tendency to have an accent
and immigrant background. For example, in the Disney created movie Oliver and Company, there is a
Chihuahua named Alonzo who is depicted as a trouble maker, constantly scouting for garbage or
anything that can be of any use to him. At one point in the movie, he also talks about stealing cars; yet
another common stereotype influencing Latino prejudices. Society today should find a way to free them
of such common stereotypes, because not all Hispanics are thieves and not all of them know how to
hotwire a car. One of the most beneficial companies that influences prejudice is Disney, along with all of
it’s misleading movies and TV shows, those of which including loved children’s movies like the Little
Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

America’s media is also very over-exaggerative, showing more of the Latino “bad side” than it’s
good side. For instance, in a public newspaper, the media may portray a Latino gang member
performing some kind of act of violence, rather than explaining how well the Latino community in a city might be doing. They also tend to make small but obvious mistakes, such as putting English subtitles in Spanish movies when they will be speaking English that portion of the movie. For example, in the movie Zorro, the main protagonist tends to speak English a lot of the time, but sub titles are put in any ways, showing that the media expects the Latino community not to be understood in any language.

When big companies like Disney get involved, it is no wonder why people think about Latinos in
some form of arrogant way, but the media is not as big of a benefiter as people today are. Although it may be hard to indulge the fact that Hispanics really aren’t what society depicts them to be, humans in general should try to avoid movies that companies like Disney make, and if that is not possible, then they should just keep in mind that almost everything the media says and does is not true. Latinos not only seem to be arrogant, but they also appear to be dangerous. This also leads to the influencing of incorrect image on the newer generation through misleading movies that the media seems to generate and their creation of false “advertising” of different races. Disney and the media in general obviously play a large part in young peoples’ lives, but society should simply be aware and try not to let stereo types influence the way they think or act towards people of different ethnic backgrounds.

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