Ethnic Stereotypes

“”People are much deeper than stereotypes. That’s the first place our mind goes. Then you get to know them and hear their own stories, and you say, ‘I’d have never guessed.”” (Carson Kersley). Unfortunately, enough not everyone has this type of experience, this aha moment and they end up living through their entire life stereotyping other races. Stereotypes act as a barrier between people and not often are the barriers taken down, which typically prevents others from associating them self’s with others who are from a different race. Individuals very rarely let go of the idea of stereotypes because they formulate their own opinions and ideas based on what they see and their own experiences. In addition, people who stereotype other racial groups typically don’t consider themselves as a person who stereotypes groups. The way racial groups are presented in media is not helpful for the elimination of discrimination and pre-juice in society. Television and social media especially have a powerful impact on racial stereotypes and are constantly perpetuated. I’ll go over how Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans and Arab Americans are stereotyped in Television, Films, Video games and on Social media.

Latinos/Hispanics are the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States, despite this they are heavily stereotyped in media. Historically, Latino characters have typically been the unfavorable characters in television and in media. But they have been rarely seen on television but are still given many stereotypes on tv shows. Latinos/Hispanic Americans are portrayed as unintelligent, dirty, disheveled and they supposedly all have low paying labor jobs and thick accents. Usually it is a person who has darker features like tanner skin and dark hair with brown eyes. There is five common stereotypes for Hispanics, first one is that most Hispanic women are all maids, second typical stereotype is that they are all Latin lovers, third one is that they portray them as Sexpots, the fourth stereotype is that they are typically thugs and part of the thug life and finally in most tv shows and films all Hispanics are usually immigrants.

In early tv shows and films African Americans were the racial group to be portrayed as the domestic’s workers. Key roles in older movies for African Americans were most likely to be housekeepers but that changed quickly around the 1980s. Latinos mainly women replaced African Americans as Hollywood’s domestic’s worker, for example a show that aired in the 1980s called “” I Married Dora”” was about a man who ended up marrying his Latino housekeeper to keep her from being deported. Jennifer Lopez a famous Latino actress has even played as a housekeeper her self in 2002 in a movie called “”Maid in Manhattan”” which was a romantic comedy. Lupe Ontiveros is also an actor in Hollywood and she told the National Public Radio that she’s played as a maid as many as 150 times on screen. In most movies and shows Hispanic women are typically the housemaid for a rich white family and that’s one big misconception people and Hollywood have about Latinos.

Hollywood also portrays Hispanics as Latin Lovers. Mainly men like Antonio Banderas and Ricardo Montalbano started in numerous roses that portrayed Latino men are incredibly sexy, suave and skilled in the sheets. The stereotype is commonly known as Latin Lovers. Therefor the misconception of Latinos being Sexpots. Hispanic men are often the Latin Lovers in tv shows and films, while women are commonly known as sexpots. Hollywood nearly always places an attractive, sexy, spicy and crazy woman as a housemaid. Tanisha Rameez states that “”In essence, this sort of thinking traps our culture within our bodies, ignoring values, ethics, traditions that contribute to our sense of culture.”” Not all men and women that are Latinos are sexpots and insanely attractive. Hollywood and media really push this idea of Hispanics in many people’s heads.

Another typical misconception Hollywood and media has for Latinos/Hispanics are that most of them are thugs and take part of the thug life. There’s never a shortage of Latinos playing a role of a thug, drug dealer or a gangbanger in films and tv shows in the United States. Many films like “”American Me”” and “”Mi Vida Loco”” and especially “”West Side Story”” all have the same idea of a rivalry between Caucasian gangs and Hispanic gangs. The gangster stereotype is always aimed at Latinos, not only giving public and society that they are all law-abiding citizen but give them the idea that they are all cholos. That they should all be feared, Shunned and defiantly shouldn’t be treated with equal respect. While some Latinos do find themselves behind bars, most Hispanics aren’t criminals. A decent amount of them work as lawyers, teachers, pastors and police officers.

Finally, one big stereotype films and tv shows have about Latinos is that they are all Immigrants.

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