The Times podcast: Why Hollywood’s Latino representation problem persists

Jimmy Smits in “In the Heights”
Jimmy Smits as Kevin Rosario in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “In the Heights.”
(Macall Polay / Warner Bros.)

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The greaser. The hot tamale. The gangster. The maid. The narco. These and other stereotypes are how Hollywood has traditionally portrayed Latinos for over a century. Even as they have become America’s largest minority, and as their box-office clout has increased, tired tropes continue.


Today, the L.A. Times published a huge package about Hollywood’s Latino culture gap, and this episode is a continuation of that coverage. We’re going to talk about this forever trend with legend Edward James Olmos and beloved star Cristela Alonzo. Host Gustavo Arellano will also weigh in on controversy surrounding the recently released film “In the Heights” and its lack of full Afro-Latino representation.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Actor Edward James Olmos, and actor and writer Cristela Alonzo

More reading:

Keeping Close to the Street : When It Comes to Being a Role Model, ‘Miami Vice’ ‘s Edward James Olmos, From East Los Angeles, May Be the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business

Cristela Alonzo’s ‘Mixtape Memoir’ Is an Ode to Her South Texas Roots


‘We fell short’: Lin-Manuel Miranda is sorry for ‘In the Heights’ Afro-Latinx erasure

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About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producers Steven Cuevas and Denise Guerra, executive producer Abbie Fentress Swanson and editor Julia Turner. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.