What Can Brown Do For You: Latinos In Pop Culture Today (Editorial)
What Can Brown Do For You?
Latino heritage month is coming to a close on October 15, which just reminds me of how little recognition we really get. (Hispanic Heritage Month starts September 15. Yes, we don’t get the full month of September, or October for that matter.) Latinos or Hispanics represent 16% of the American population, which comes to about 40 million people. Which asks a very important question, where are the Latinos in pop culture? Donde estan?
Gomez, Andrea and Brock were one dimensional characters that nobody really cared for until they were close to death or muerto already.
Next? There are too many stereotypical drug dealers/kingpins to even mention on this show. Tuco, Tio Salamanca and Tortuga were pretty much the same character. Besides being locos, what else did they bring to the table?
The Walking Dead:
Great show with a very diverse cast except after the Zombie apocalypse, only one latino has ever been featured. Caeser Martinez played by Jose Pablo Cantillo. Stereotypical henchman with less story and dialogue than T-Dogg had in all 3 seasons.
Star Trek: Apparently there are no Latinos in the future. The one guy that was played by famous Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban was whitewashed and played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the sequel to the reboot.
Pacific Rim: Big hit this summer, Giant Robots and Aliens duke it out in whats left of the world. I see a trend going on with Latinos in tv and film.We apparently don’t survive the apocalypse or reach the future.
Spanish superheroes are harder to come by than a Republican with an open mind. Jaime Reyes is Blue Beetle in the DC Universe, while Miles Morales is the half-Black, half-Hispanic Ultimate Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe (and an alternate one at that). Ay Caramba! that’s it? That’s our contribution to pop culture?
Not to mention our misrepresentation in movies and TV. Not every Latino country has a rebellion going against its government in the year 2013. (I’m looking at you, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) Not every Latino is a drug dealer or gang leader in a prison. We’re not all Scarface or Carlito’s Way. I believe us to be much more than comedy relief, as proved by classically trained actors such as Edward James Olmos and Benicio Del Toro. (sidenote – Check out Benicio playing The Collector in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians Of The Galaxy) Imagine Michelle Rodriguez with a golden lasso playing Wonder Woman or even Edgar Ramirez as Aquaman. At this point I’ll even take Sofia Vergara as She-Hulk.
So my question to the fanhermanos out there is: Who are some of your favorite Latino characters?