Is Hollywood's obsession with cartels fueling negative feelings about Latinos?
From Better Call Saul to Ozark to Narcos: Mexico and SEAL Team, cartels have been all the rage in entertainment, particularly on television. "The cartel operative — be he a kingpin or a hit man or a small-time drug dealer — has become the dominant image of Latino people in American television and cinema," says Héctor Tobar, noting that there are 57 million Latinos in the United States who live regular lives. "He’s of course also the dominant image of Latino people in the discourse of the president of the United States." Tobar adds: "The dialogue and imagery of cartel movies associates Latino identity with inherent, pure evil again and again. It’s time for Hollywood to ask: What message are we sending to the American public by asking this country’s Latino actors to act out one execution-style killing after another? And isn’t this all becoming a bit tired and predictable?"
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