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CBS addresses its poor track record of hiring Latinos after fierce lobbying efforts

President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Alex Nogales.
President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Alex Nogales.
JC Olivera / Stringer

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One of the big four networks has doubled its number of Latino writers and actors since last season. But it didn’t get there without a little persuasion from The National Latino Media Council, a group that is working to improve minority representation in Hollywood. 

Seventeen years ago, the major TV networks agreed to share hiring data and add more minority employees. But follow-up analysis by the Media Council found that CBS specifically had fallen short, employing fewer Latinos in the current season than it did 10 years ago.

Alex Nogales is a board member of the National Latino Media Council. The group includes 10 organizations, including MALDEF and the group Nogales leads —  the National Hispanic Media Coalition. He told The Frame about the steps it took to put pressure on CBS:

We've been training a cadre of about 35 people to carry on social media, to do letters to the advertisers. So, when we went to visit with CBS, we were prepared to fight. Fortunately for us, and for CBS, they had some very good news for us. 

When asked about CBS' motivation for bolstering its staff of Latino actors and writers, Nogales said:

As we were preparing, the press was coming down really hard on CBS. [The network] looked around and said, It's time to do something drastic here, otherwise we are going to be caught in a situation that we won't be able to control.

After winning concessions from CBS to boost the number of Latino hires, the Media Council is setting its sights on the three other big TV networks — Fox, ABC and NBC. 


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