The 2021 Oscar Nominations Have Arrived and, Once Again, Almost No Latinos Were Nominated
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The 2021 Oscar nominations were announced today and, as usual, it was a bittersweet affair. Like every year, movie fans have taken to their social media and group chats to discuss the artists and project who deserved–or didn’t deserve–their nominations.
But many Latinos who are concerned with Latino representation onscreen couldn’t help but notice a distinct lack of Latinos nominated in any of the major categories.
In the major categories, only one Latino was nominated for anything–Panamanian-American director Shaka King. The “Judas and The Black Messiah” director was nominated both for Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Picture.
But other than that one lone nominee, the Academy failed to recognize any other Latinos. This was a disappointment to fans of Latin American films like Guatemalan film “La Llorona” or Mexican film “Ya no estoy aqui“–both of which were considered frontrunners for the Best International Feature Film category.
Despite the disappointing amount of Latinos nominated this year, the Academy has otherwise been making strides in its commitment to diversity.
Steven Yeun is the first Asian-American actor, to be nominated for Best Actor for his work in in “Minari”. Two female directors, Emerald Fennel and Chloé Zhao, are nominated for Best Director, for “Promising Young Woman” and “Nomadland”, respectively. The latter is the first female director of Asian descent to be nominated in that category.
Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated for Best Actor for his work in “Sound of Metal”. Not only that, but the Academy has nominated many Black artists this year. And notably, with her fourth nomination for her work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, Viola Davis has become the most-nominated Black actress in Oscar history.
Despite the strides in overall inclusivity, some Latinos took to Twitter to express their ultimate disappointment.
One of the loudest voices was “Arrow” actor Kirk Acevedo, who rattled off statistics that didn’t look too good for the Academy.
“Not 1 F—–g Latino Actor, Actress, Director or Writer nominated at this years Oscars,” he erroneously wrote (again, Shaka King is Latino, of Panamanian descent). “Not only this Oscar year but almost every Oscar year. He continued: “A reminder: Latinos represent 1/5 of the United States & 25% of ALL income at the U.S. box office. WE EXIST!”
Considering how large the Los Angeles Latino population is, there is no excuse not to hire Latinos.
Hollywood needs to make a real concerted effort to recruit Latino talent in front of and behind the camera. Only when more Latinos are in powerful positions–be that on the creative or business side–will we start seeing real change.
Until then, we’ll probably be writing another story exactly like this come next Oscar season.
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