Hispanics in Prime-Time:Television Stereotypes

Hispanics are less visible in prime time television than they were in the 1950's. Their portrayals have not improved markedly since the days of Ricky Ricardo. Their depictions are notable for the high proportion of criminals and violent characters like the "Scarface" stereotype and the absence of starring roles and successful role models. In an age of heightened sensitivity to both the importance of ethnic diversity and the influence of popular culture in shaping social images, it is remarkable how little has changed in television's treatment of this growing segment of the population.

*Data collected through a study conducted by Distorted Reality in 1998. This study was the first scientific content-analysis of prime time television portrayals of Hispanic characters. It analyzed 64 hours of prime-time programming by ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.