These TV shows are changing the way we see immigrants, a new study finds

By Laura Zornosa, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Two children sit alone, facing a judge in an immigration court set in Litchfield, New York.

"Ms. Casillas, do you and your brother have a lawyer?" the judge asks.

The little girl shakes her head.

"Do you know what a lawyer is?" the judge replies.

"No," the little girl whispers.

"Well, do you understand that we are here to determine whether or not you two can remain in the United States?"


"Can I use the bathroom?" the girls asks, clutching her little brother's hand.

This scene, from the final season of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black," was included in the "Change the Narrative, Change the World" study released Wednesday by the nonprofit media and culture organization Define American in partnership with the Norman Lear Center, which researches and evaluates media at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The new study found that TV shows with immigrant characters - such as "Ramy," "One Day at a Time" and "How to Get Away With Murder" - are inspiring viewers to take real-life action.

Researchers looked at how three key immigration storylines from "Orange Is the New Black," "Madam Secretary" and "Superstore" changed viewers' understanding of and attitudes toward immigrants.


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