Congressman Castro Slams Lack of Latino Representation on Newly-Announced Warner Bros. Discovery Board of Directors
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement slamming the decision by AT&T and Discovery to exclude Latino members from the new Warner Bros. Discovery Board of Directors:
“Warner Bros. Discovery is off to a bad start. Latinos make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population and nearly 30 percent of movie ticket buyers – but with today’s Board announcement, AT&T and Discovery made clear that they don’t value our voices. This is what cultural exclusion looks like,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “Latinos disproportionately patronize the media and entertainment industry as consumers and subsidize it as taxpayers. Two of the largest tax breaks for the media industry are in California and New Mexico – each with a Latino population of 40 percent or more. State legislators should be wary of subsidizing an industry that excludes the people they represent – and antitrust regulators need to block mergers that reduce workforce diversity and harm minority communities.”
In May 2021, AT&T and Discovery Inc. announced an agreement that would spin WarnerMedia off from AT&T and initiate a merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery to create Warner Bros. Discovery, a new entity. Under the agreement, the Warner Bros. Discovery Board includes six members chosen by Discovery and seven chosen by AT&T. Of the 13 total members announced today, none are Latino.
In December 2021, Congressman Castro and a coalition of other members of Congress sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter urging the Department of Justice to investigate the proposed Discovery-WarnerMedia merger for violations of antitrust laws. In addition, members asked the Justice Department to examine whether the merger would reduce diverse content in a more consolidated and less competitive market.
Congressman Castro has long been concerned about the lack of Latino representation in the media. In 2021, he commissioned a Government Accountability Office report to evaluate workforce diversity in media. The report found that the media industry had significantly fewer Latino workers than other industries, with particularly egregious exclusion at the senior level. Among senior-level media roles, just four percent are held by Latinos.
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