L.A. Times, 10/15/06
Filling Theater Seats but Not Movie Jobs

As Hollywood goes after the Latino American market, already known for its fervent filmgoers, the effort is hurt by a lack of executives and creative professionals from the ethnic group.

By Lorenza Muñoz, Times Staff Writer

At Walt Disney Co., Chief Executive Robert Iger has made the mandate clear: Reaching the expanding Latino audience is a top priority for the Burbank-based entertainment giant.

The company's theme park, cable and broadcast groups each have made inroads, creating Spanish-language sports channels through ESPN, TV shows starring Latinos for the ABC network and bicultural "Cinderella"-themed contests for Latina teens. But the company's movie studio has come up empty after a yearlong attempt to make films based on the Latino American experience.

It is a theme playing out across Hollywood these days. Although major studios are eager to court Latinos — a group that sees more English-language movies than any other ethnic or racial group — they have been hard-pressed to find Latino executives who can spearhead their efforts.
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