The Academy Awards announced the nominations for the 90th annual show on Jan. 23 and people were excited about the diversity in several prominent categories. This stride includes Jordan Peele possibly becoming the first black director to win the Best Director category after being only the fifth ever nominated in the show’s history. And although these broken barriers are a great triumph, there is still one community that remains underrepresented: Latinos.
The advocacy group National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is protesting the Academy Awards for their “institutionalized racism.” They shared a call-to-action that is set to take place on Feb. 5, the day of the Academy’s annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon, and on March 3, the day before the actual show.
“For years the success of the major film studios has been won on the backs of U.S. Latinos who represent 23 percent of all movie ticket buyers and 18 percent of the U.S. population,” NHMC president and CEO Alex Nogales said in a statement. “Yet, on- and off-screen and in the narratives that Hollywood’s movies tell, Latinos remain the most underrepresented minority in the industry. Enough is enough. It’s time to end the whitewashing and put Latinos in front of and behind the camera.”
He adds, “Our upcoming demonstrations are only the first of what will become increasingly aggressive wake-up calls to Hollywood studios to end institutionalized racism against Latinos. By targeting the Academy Awards, we’re serving notice to the motion picture industry that we’re not asking for equity anymore. We’re demanding it.”
The NHMC are standing behind the numbers. Latino actors and actresses have received only 16 nominations and six wins over the Oscars’ 90-year history, reports Huffington Post.
Celebrities have recently spoken out on the topic. Gina Rodriguez expressed how she feels Latinos remain marginalized in Hollywood and sent a message to studios. “We are still very sadly underrepresented,” the Jane the Virgin star said on The PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT Official SAG Awards Red Carpet Live Show. “Studios, I love you guys. Latinos hold studios up, so cast us in your films so that we can be a part of the growing demographic!”
The 90th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will air live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.