November 2021

Telling Authentic Immigrant Stories

Five immigrant characters of different races from TV and film.

Immigrant characters from TV and film.

Entertainment and pop culture are often the lenses through which we see the world. Hollywood has the power to tell stories that help us understand how to feel about other cultures, traditions, and people with differing world views from our own.

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About the guide

In a constantly shifting U.S. immigration landscape, ‘Telling Authentic Immigrant Stories: A Reference Guide for The Entertainment Industry’ is the latest edition of our comprehensive resource tool for writers, filmmakers, creators and entertainment professionals who want to tell stories that are both accurate and humanizing about immigrants. It includes best practices, detailed descriptions, multimedia examples, definitions, historical timelines, data and resources about specific underrepresented communities, as well as insight into evolving topics such as DACA and climate displacement.

​​We invite you to use this guide as a starting point to help you navigate your characters’ journeys.

Headshot of Jose Antonio Vargas
Our research shows that immigrants continue to be underrepresented on screen. As such, Hollywood has a unique opportunity, a unique power, and a unique responsibility to meet the moment and make meaningful cultural change by authentically and accurately telling the disparate stories of our country.

Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Tony-nominated producer, and founder of Define American

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