by Dinah Aguilar ’19
The long anticipated “Black Panther” movie recently was released and instantly became an absolute box office success. Within two weeks it already passed the $700 million mark making it the third fastest grossing movie of all time. Why was this movie so successful? Because it was Marvel’s first movie featuring nearly an all black cast in a movie showcasing and celebrating African culture.
It is now time for Latinos to be cast in movies. With the success of “Black Panther,” Hollywood should realize that representation is important in film. In 2017, Disney realized their first Latino movie “Coco,” which won an two Oscars for best animated film and best original song. The Latino community and the world is ready for some “adobo seasoning” in their movies.
Authenticity is what draws people to see a movie. In films, Latinos usually play the gang member, migrant, or person with a weird accent. These stereotypes and mockery can no longer be tolerated.
People like to see others that look the same as them. Little boys and girls need to see they can be the hero in a story, not just another bad guy or a hot accent. When a kid sees someone like them as a scientist, teacher or superhero it shows them that they too can achieve these dreams. And actors on the big screen are a more accessible way of seeing representation.
Even seeing a normal story of a teenager, like “Lady Bird,” who comes home to a Spanish-speaking household would be so important. It would show that not all “normal lives” have to be white.
Latinos make up one-fifth of U.S. moviegoers, and more than half of them go to the movies six or more times a year, yet they are the most under-cast demographic.
Movies like “Black Panther” and “Coco” are challenging the misperceptions of Hollywood that says major studio films starring people of color will not attract as large of audiences as films with predominantly white casts. The Latino community has waited long enough.