Dear 'Southland': How can you have a show set in LA without any Latinos?!
This is an open letter to the producers of Southland, who thought it would be OK, or even remotely realistic to continue on to season 4 of their LA-based police procedural without a single Latino in the cast. Let's clarify this for them: It's not. Los Angeles is home to approximately 4.7 million Hispanics, the largest amount of any county in the entire United States.
Not that we are all that shocked.
This is the same show that premiered sans a single Latino cop, even though approximately 42% of the LAPD is comprised of Hispanics. Back then, Alex Nogales, President of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, spoke out against the show, saying ”All of the criminals are Latino and all the cops are white. That is offensive.” We couldn't agree more.
At the time, producers seemed to take notice and hired a string of fantastic Latin actors to play strong roles as policemen. Laz Alonso, Kevin Alejandro, and Jenny Gago were all featured on the cult TV show. But with season five premiering tonight, it seems like they have once again lost their way.
We can't argue with the fact that Southland is an excellent show. It's well written and features incredibly interesting characters in realistic situations. But we'd really love if they would stop backsliding and relying on typical stereotypes of Latinos only as gang bangers and criminals.
Even in this season 4 promo, we're portrayed as gang bangers. Sigh, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Image via YouTube