The history of Latinos in the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry is an example of one of the many dilemmas that Latinos have been faced with and furthermore have been able to overcome. Latino actors, writers, directors and most importantly the Culture have been a major contribution to the Hollywood film industry for many years. The Bronze Screen tells a story of the beginning and development of the Latino Community in the film industry.
Hollywood presented a false reality to the American public. It magnified a poor image of the Mexican culture. Many of the early movies portrayed Mexicans as outlaws, illiterate and Mexico as a dirty violent place. Hollywood was writing and directing images of Mexico through the eyes and mind of the White Man. Stereotypes and a poor image of the Mexican culture were reinforced through the film images viewed by the American Public. Most recently a major issue was the urban gang lifestyle presented though Latino actors. Negative stereotypes brought rise to more gang activity in the urban areas.
Star roles were rarely given to Latino actors. When a Latino actor/actress inquired an opportunity to play a star role, chances were that it was under many circumstances. Rita Casino a Latina actress had to change her name to Rita Hayward in order to sound appealing to the American Audience. Hollywood said, "Only the bad girl has dark hair", due to this idea many actors had to dye their rich dark hair to a "beautiful blonde" in order to score a role. Many Latino actors continued to accept stereotyped roles but others refused to be ridiculed and began a revolution against Hollywood. Some actors simply refused to take part in any film written and directed by Hollywood. Europe opened the doors to many Latino actors and helped glorify their contribution to the film industry.
Throughout time Latinos helped clear up the distorted images that were created by the white man. Overtime the man behind the camera was no loner white but brown....
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