Netflix Needs More Latinx Stars, Internal Audit Finds

Netflix conducted a diversity audit and found that they need more Latinx actors and actresses in prominent roles. The streamer committed to working on it.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

The result of a diversity audit that Netflix initiated to see how it was doing on the question of representation in its original programming found that the streamer has a ways to go with regards to Latinx cast members. 

The results, compiled and released by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, showed that Netflix fell far short of the mark for parity with the general population. The study analyzed over 300 Netflix originals (126 movies and 180 scripted series) that debuted on Netflix between January 2018 and December 2019. The researchers found that just 4.5 percent of main cast members were Latinx, a ways away from their demographic size with regards to the population of the United States.

Members of the Latinx community make up nearly 20 percent of the population in the U.S. Netflix has pushed to be more inclusive in recent years, with roles going to Black and Asian actors at a rate slightly higher than their demographic numbers might suggest. The study found that 22 percent of main cast roles at Netflix went to Black actors in 2019 and 7 percent of roles went to Asian actors. The two groups make up 13 percent and six percent of the US population, respectively. 

Netflix representatives agreed that they have work to do in a presentation earlier this week.  

“It should be companies like ours and other studios helping in that space,” Netflix Vice President of Global Film Scott Stuber said of plans to hire more Latinx actors, per CNN. “It’s important for us to reach out to the people in that community to tell stories, but also to help build bridges. It’s something we’re working hard on as a company.”

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