The National Hispanic Media Coalition is planning to take action against The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for what it describes as “institutionalized racism” against Latinos.
The 2018 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, with Latinos conspicuously missing from all four acting categories. Hours later, the media advocacy group sent out a press release stating it would hold two demonstrations against this year’s Academy Awards.
NHMC is seeking to raise awareness about the lack of Latino representation, both in front and behind the camera.
“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 the statement. “Yet, on- and off-screen and in the narratives 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.”
Latino actors and actresses have been underrepresented throughout Oscar history, with only 16 nominations and six wins over a period of 90 years.
Representation in the film industry in general is similarly bleak. Only 3.1 percent of speaking characters were Latino in 2016′s top 100 films, according to a report by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The media coalition said its first demonstration will be on Feb. 5 at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ honoree luncheon. The second demonstration will be held on March 3. The time and location of both events have not yet been announced.
“Hollywood continues to be challenged by gender and ethnic diversity,” Nogales said. “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.”
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