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ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC’s Latino Inclusion: A Mixed Bag According To National Latino Media Council

The National Latino Media Council (NLMC) has released the 2014 NLMC Television Network Diversity Report. The report rates Latino inclusion and diversity performance of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in the 2013-2014 television season, based on the employment of Latino actors, writers, producers, directors, and entertainment executives; program development; procurement; and commitment to diversity and transparency.

For the 2013-2014 television season, NLMC assigned “Good,” “Mediocre” and “Bad” ratings for each of the above eight categories for Latino inclusion, which provided the basis for overall scores for each network:

ABC: Mediocre
ABC had the most Latino scripted actors, and it also led the pack in terms of Latino writers and producers. However, the network underwhelmed with regard to Latino directors and unscripted talent. ABC is to be commended for its excellent quantity of initiatives to infuse more people of color into its ranks.

CBS: Mediocre
CBS’ performance is lagging in nearly every category, including Latino on-screen talent in scripted and unscripted roles. The network shows promise with regard to Latino writers, producers, and directors, but progress remains slow. However, CBS stands out with a Latina entertainment executive, entertainment chairman Nina Tassler, at the helm.

FOX: Mediocre
FOX has made great strides in augmenting the amount of Latino actors, as well as improving portrayals. Behind the camera, the network shows little improvement in hiring Latino writers, producers and directors. After two years of refusing to supply its diversity data to the coalition, Fox’s commitment to diversity had been in question — but the network is once again cooperating and showing a commitment to inclusion.

NBC: Mediocre/Good
NBC showed great improvement with Latino actors in scripted roles and cast members in unscripted roles. The number of Latino writers and producers has increased slightly, but the network had fewer Latino directors. NBC’s commitment to diversity shows in the programs it continues to support to help prepare diverse talent to work in the industry.

“It is clear there is a lot of room for improvement across the board,” said former Congressman Esteban Torres, chair of NLMC. “We will continue to work with the networks to ensure that positive internal changes take place to bring more Latinos in front and behind the camera.”

Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which serves as secretariat for NLMC, stated, “It is important to recognize not only how far we’ve come, but also how far we have to go until television accurately reflects the reality that Latinos are an integral part of the American social fabric.”

In 2000, following a two-year campaign, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition — comprised of the National Latino Media Council, the National Asian/Pacific American Media Coalition, the NAACP and American Indians in Film and Television — signed Memoranda of Understanding with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC to diversify the networks’ workforce both in front and behind the camera, and to open up procurement opportunities for people of color. The four networks agreed to diversify their staffs and regularly report to the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition on their inclusion efforts. Over the years, this long partnership has produced tangible but incremental results. NLMC has issued this report annually since 2001, and evaluates data reported by the four television networks.

Member organizations of NLMC include: Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU), Latino Literacy Now, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Latino Theater Company @ The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP), Nosotros, and United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI).

To view the full report, which includes summaries of diversity performance and recommendations for improvement for the four networks, click here.

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