Fighting the Latino threat narrative : Latina/o voice and representation in post-network era television

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Rossi, Nathaniel Andrew

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Imagery of the Latino Threat Narrative has seen a reemergence in U.S. popular news media since Donald Trump’s political career became mainstream in 2016. His rhetoric brought new attention to a narrative that has existed since the dawn of U.S. visual culture in the early twentieth century and has marked Latinos as violent drug dealers and Latinas as incapable of controlling their fertility. This thesis explores how post-network era dramatic television series are complicating and countering the Latina/o threat in their narratives. My study focuses on two programs, Netflix’s Narcos (2015-present) and The CW’s Jane the Virgin (2014-present). I utilize textual, industrial and discourse analysis of these series to argue that post-network era forms of distribution, financing, and promotion have given Latina/o creators a greater stake or voice in the creation process. Despite inroads in diversity, as evidence by these two series, in the U.S. television industry, however, limitations remain due to the lack of Latina/os in the highest executive positions.


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