A new report from Define American and the Norman Lear Center at USC, titled "Change the Narrative, Change the World," found that TV has a long way to go in depicting immigrant stories. About half of immigrant characters were Latinx, the study found, while 21% were white and 12% Asian/Pacific Islander. Immigrant characters were predominantly straight and male. The most common storylines featured deportation, ICE and discussions about being "illegal" and/or "undocumented." “There are definitely some promising findings in the study, findings that provide me with hope. But there are still many areas in which immigrant representation can improve,” says Jose Antonio Vargas, founder, Define American. “The study really highlights the importance of taking an intersectional approach to inclusive storytelling. We’re still seeing undocumented Black immigrants, immigrants with disabilities, and more not receive the level and type of representation those communities deserve. And that has a real impact. For example, Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups. But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” The study also credited Orange Is the New Black, Madam Secretary, Superstore, Ramy, One Day at a Time and How to Get Away with Murder for their important immigrant portrayals.
TOPICS: Immigration and TV, How to Get Away with Murder, Madam Secretary, One Day at a Time (2017 series), Orange Is the New Black, Ramy, Superstore, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Latinos and TV