How Television in Western Culture Perceive Latin Americans

The set of
The set of "Orange is the New Black"

Television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as criminals, maids, and slaves (cheap labor). In this essay, we will explain how western culture perceive Latin Americans in these ways.

Television in western culture often perceive Latin Americans as criminals. In the Article “(Mis) Representation of Latinos in Media”, Katherine Andrews (2017) explains that from the year 2012-2013, 17.7% of Latin American film characters, and 24.2% of Latin American tv characters were represented doing criminal acts. Many tv shows of the 21stcentury have created Latin American characters as criminals. Most of the time, it is Latin American men that are perceived as criminals, but in more recent years, Latin American women are being perceived in this way. A show that has been heavily representing Latin American women as criminals is Orange is the New Black. Many of the women were incarcerated for illegally selling drugs or being affiliated with a gang. A lot of the Latin American women in this show act tough, and give other inmates a reason to fear them, which adds to the problem of negatively stereotyping Latin Americans. Another show that perceives Latin American women as criminals is Queen of the South. This show is about a woman who runs a drug cartel in Mexico, and is very successful. Another show that heavily talks about the drug cartel is Narcos. The show talks about the trade that goes on in Colombia, which is mostly run by men. A famous drug cartel trader from Colombia, who is mentioned in Narcos, is Pablo Escobar. He put a lot of fear into the country because of his crimes and hurt many people in it. Because of his crimes, a lot of people perceive Colombians as criminals and think they are affiliated with drug cartels, which puts Latin Americans in a negative light. These are just a few examples on how television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as criminals.

Another way television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as, is maids. In the article “Five Common Latino Stereotypes in Television and Film”, Nadid Kareem Nittle (2019) says that “In the earlier days of television and film, Africans were the racial group most likely to portray domestic workers. Black housekeepers played key roles in television sitcoms such as 1950’s “Beulah” and films such as 1939’s “Gone with the Wind”. But in the 1980s, however, Latino’s increasingly replaced blacks as Hollywood’s domestics. The 1987 TV show “I Married Dora” was even about a man who married his Latina housekeeper to prevent her from being deported”. This particular stereotype continued well on into the 90s and 2000s. A show that heavily mentions this stereotype is Family Guy, which was created by Seth MacFarlane in the 1990s. The show follows a man in his mid 40s named Peter Griffin, who creates havoc on his family constantly. A reoccurring character in this show is a Mexican maid named Consuela. She has a thick Spanish accent and wears a pink maid uniform with a white frilly apron. She often speaks broken English, and is always giving the excuse that she has to clean when someone asks her to hang out with them. Another show that perceives Latin Americans as maids is Devious Maids, which is a show about a bunch of maids trying to solve a fellow maids murder. This makes them out to be “devious” and “hard to handle”, which is a very common stereotype amongst Latin American women. They are often seen as sassy, rude, and intimidating for people to handle, which is adding to the problem of stereotyping Latin Americans in a negative way. These are just a few examples of how television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as maids.

One more way that television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as, is slaves (cheap labor). In the essay “Hispanic Representation on Media Platforms: Perspective and Stereotypes in the Meme, Television, and on Youtube”, Arielle Akines (2015) explains that, with the historical background of the word’s slavery and racism in America, people can’t understand why Latins would use those words on themselves. They also can’t understand why they would use these words on social media platforms, as their culture becomes more popular. She goes on to explain that when Latin Americans use these terms for themselves, on social media and in public, other people will begin to think it’s ok. This is seen in many western television shows. The shows that talk about slavery amongst Latin Americans are crime shows, due to the fact that slavery ties in with the law. A crime show that talks about this in more than one episode is Law and Order. The show has many episodes where they talk about Latin Americans going into cheap labor, and being sold into sex trafficking. This unfortunately happens all the time outside of tv shows, but it doesn’t help the problem Latin Americans face when constantly being stereotyped. Another show that talks about slavery amongst Latin Americans is Chicago PD, which has an episode of people taking Latin Americans and forcing them to do things that they may not want to do themselves. Hawaii Five-O is another good example of this, showing an episode where Latin American cops are being ordered to do things. If they don’t do what they are told, they’ll be physically hurt or get sent to drug cartels. They are also used as attractions for protection of the people who are ordering them around. This is both adding to the problem of negatively stereotyping Latin Americans, and also bringing awareness to the issue as well. These are just a few examples of how television in western culture perceive Latin Americans as slaves (cheap labor).

In conclusion, television in western culture perceive Latin Americans in a negative way. They see them as criminals, maids, slaves, and many other negative stereotypes. Nothing has been done to stop these stereotypes from being told to us. We can stop these stereotypes by: learning about the different Latin American cultures, make our own judgement, and not believe everything that is presented to us on tv as the truth. There is no need to perceive Latin Americans as criminals, maids, or slaves. They are human just like the rest of us.



References


Andrews, K. (2017). (Mis) Representation of Latinos in Media.
Panoramas Scholarly Platform
https://www.panoramas.pitt.edu/art-and-culture/misrepresentation-latinos-media


Kareem Nittle, N. (2019). Five Common Latino Stereotypes in Television and Film.
ThoughtCo
https://www.thoughtco.com/latino-stereotypes-in-television-and-film-2834654


Akines, A. (2015). Hispanic Representations on Media Platforms: Perspectives and Stereotypes in the Meme, Television, Film, and on YouTube.
Texas State University
https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10877/5741/AKINES-THESIS-2015.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y


0|1
512

Most Helpful Guys

  • 8 d ago

    "This unfortunately happens all the time outside of tv shows" -

    Unfortunately, a lot of your aforementioned happens all the time outside of TV shows. Whereas Asian American immigrants are often well educated and often the "cream of the crop" from their countries, (with the notable exceptions of refugee groups like the Hmongs for example), all too many Mexican and Latin American immigrants are like the Italian and Irish immigrants of yore, that is, from a clearly lower socioeconomic strata.

    0|0
    0|0
  • 6 d ago

    There are a lot of Latin Americans who aren't like that but there are a lot of Latin Americans who are exactly like that also it happens all the time outside of TV, now all Latin Americans aren't like that at all but it'd be wrong to say that there isn't a decent sized population of em that are like that.

    0|1
    0|0

Most Helpful Girl

  • 9 d ago

    Television doesn't perceive. Television portrays.

    Good job.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 8 d ago

      Portraying is perceiving though. When television portrays Latin Americans a certain way, that's how they perceive them.

    • 8 d ago

      No. Perception is not something an inanimate object can do. You have misused the word perceive, and portray doesn't mean the same thing.

Recommended myTakes

Join the discussion

What Girls & Guys Said

410
  • 8 d ago

    Good take!.. And I agree that Latin Americans have it bad in the stereotypin department.. Which is funny cause many of the Latin Americans I've seen ain't really like any of those stereotypes.. Especially the sassy Latina..

    1|0
    0|0
  • 10 d ago

    One year span is misleading and those numbers are low. Just be glad you’re not Asian, especially Asian men. Even the Latin community gives them shit in the entertainment industry.

    0|0
    1|0
  • 6 d ago

    The Latins are always trying to take our jobs.
    How Television in Western Culture Perceive Latin Americans

    0|0
    0|0
  • 5 d ago

    TV is all fake. It's just characters. Whites play certain roles that sometimes include them being rapist, serial killers etc.

    It's really not important.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6 d ago

    Let's start by not calling them "Latin" anything as they are not Latin... You could maybe call Italian Americans Latin but that's besides the point.

    0|0
    0|0
    • 3 d ago

      They are Latin because Portugal and Spain have colonized the countries. Portugal and Spain are "Latinized Countries", therefore, Latin Americans are Latin. Yes, they had their own Native tribes before the Latinized countries colonized the continent, but... most of their Native tribes are gone, but still remembered and appreciated in their countries. But still. "Latin" stems from the "Latinized Countries", which were ruled by the Roman empire. So yes, Latin Americans ARE Latin, just a different type of Latin (so everyone says).

    • 3 d ago

      Portugal and Spain are of Carthaginian not Roman decent.

  • 5 d ago

    I think you used a prison show to illustrate what? I think it portrays them pretty accurately

    1|0
    0|0
  • 5 d ago

    This is true.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 10 d ago

    Good take..

    1|0
    0|0
  • 10 d ago

    Colombian cartels

    0|1
    0|0
  • 9 d ago

    Gang Bangers and maids.

    0|0
    0|0
  • 4 d ago

    They portray them as white washed and hate their blackness which they are in real life. Diesha or whatever her name is on the left said she considers herself a black woman. Hispanics just need to be honest

    1|0
    0|0
  • 8 d ago

    I don't give a fuck.

    0|0
    0|1
  • 10 d ago

    The media paints every group more negatively than reality... except for women.

    As a man, you will get no sympathy from me.

    0|1
    1|0
  • 10 d ago

    Seems that Latin Americans are accurately represented on television.
    Latinos "account for 40% of all sentenced federal offenders-more than triple their share (13%) of the total U. S. adult population.
    Around 60% of unskilled labor including maids and gardeners is performed by Latin Americans in the US.

    0|1
    1|1
    • 10 d ago

      You really didn't read the essay, did you? Not ALL OF THEM ARE LIKE THAT! These stereotypes need to absolutely stop being spread into people's heads. It makes for ignorant people and world that is being pushed back into the 1900s. It needs to stop!

    • Show All
    • 7 d ago

      Actually hon, I can because I've happen to experience the Latin American culture and I'm technically Latin myself. So, excuse me for having a passion for something. And you know what? So what if I'm not Latin American? I can see the struggle, I can feel their pain, I see how police officers treat them just like they treat black people. I can support them all I want and give them my full appreciation all I want. I don't have to explain myself to anybody, including you! I have a passion, let me have that passion. Now goodbye.

    • 7 d ago

      As latinx I find your comments offensive.

Recommended Questions

Loading...