Latinos Won 2022 — 8 Unforgettable Highlights of the Year
2022 has had its ups and downs. It’s not the worst year on record, but it’s certainly not the best, either. As we return to some semblance of “normalcy,” there’s finally time to look ahead. Judging by the last 365 or so days, Latinos are gearing up to make major moves in 2023.
To celebrate where we’re going and how far we’ve already come, we wanted to look back on some of the major wins Latinos took in 2022.
Ariana DeBose was the first Afro-Latina to win an Oscar
Ariana DeBose’s Oscar win for Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” was historic for a few reasons. Firstly, her win coincided with the 50th anniversary of Rita Moreno’s Oscar win for playing the same character. Additionally, DeBose was the first Afro-Latina to win an Oscar in the history of the Academy Awards.
Her performance as Anita was one of 2021’s best and her 2022 Oscar win solidified her as one of the best Latina actors working today.
Speaking of movies…
Latinos were featured in seven of the year’s ten highest-grossing movies
As the conversation surrounding on-screen representation becomes more prevalent, it’s worth noting that Latinos actually had a pretty good run this year at the movies. Looking at the 10 highest-grossing films of the year, Latinos were featured prominently in seven of them (and full-on starred in at least three).
The year’s highest-grossing film, “Top Gun: Maverick,” featured Monica Barbaro as Phoenix and Danny Ramirez as Fanboy, two young pilots studying under the tutelage of Tom Cruise’s Maverick. The year’s runner-up, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was full of Latino actors, including Tenoch Huerta and Mabel Cadena.
Elsewhere, Tessa Thompson starred in “Thor: Love and Thunder” while Xochitl Gomez co-starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” At this rate, Latinos will be dominating the box office before we know it… especially because Latinos go to the movies more than any other ethnic group.
“Wednesday” becomes one of Netflix’s most-watched shows
Latinos weren’t just killing it on the big screen. In 2022, Latinos also made their mark on TV, starring in some of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows of the year. Diego Luna, for instance, starred in “Andor,” a “Star Wars” series that is already garnering acclaim as the best of the bunch.
Meanwhile, Selena Gomez continues to star alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” which won three Emmys earlier this year. Gomez is also up for a 2023 Golden Globe for the show, making it the first nomination of her career.
However, it was Netflix’s “Wednesday” that stole the show in 2022. Just a few weeks after its release, “Wednesday” became the streaming service’s third most popular show of all time, as well as the third show to reach more than a billion hours streamed.
Also, SNL just hired 25-year-old Latino comedian Marcello Hernandez, which is pretty exciting.
Camille Vasquez became America’s favorite attorney
In the very public trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, it was Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, who emerged victorious. The 38-year-old lawyer, unlike her client, made headlines for all the right reasons. She received praise for her indomitable presence, quick thinking, and the seemingly limitless number of tricks up her sleeve.
Basically, she squashed Amber Heard’s legal team like a bunch of bugs, basically handing the case to Depp on a silver platter. Vasquez continues to represent Depp but has also enjoyed a spotlight of her own. Her name attracted nearly a billion impressions on TikTok alone. She was even made partner at her firm following the Depp/Heard case.
Expect to see Camille Vasquez as an attorney to the stars for a long time to come.
Latinos also killed it in the 2022 midterms
As far as politics goes, there was no shortage of Latino candidates in the 2022 midterm elections. 93 candidates — 48 Democrats, 35 Republicans, and 10 Independents or write-in candidates — ran for office in 44 states. Of those, 45 would go on to win. Some states elected a Latina candidate for the first time, including Colorado, Oregon, and Illinois.
Additionally, the newly-elected Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island — Sabina Matos — is the first Dominican person to hold that office in the country’s history. Democrats and Republicans alike showed up for Latino candidates, especially as more Latinos migrate to the Republican party.
Whichever side of the aisle you lean toward, Latinos are showing up on the ballot more than ever.
Instagram and TikTok launched initiatives to support Latino creators
Latinos also dominated social media this year, with more and more Latino content creators popping up every day. To keep up with this influx of Latino influencers, Instagram and TikTok both launched programs to support up-and-coming Latino creators.
Instagram Dale Tú and Casa TikTok focus exclusively on Latinos, highlighting content from the best creators on social media. Dale Tú, in particular, focuses on networking opportunities that foster collaboration between Latino content creators, as well as networking events and workshops.
Mexican F1 driver Sergio Peréz won the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix
On May 29 of this year, Formula One driver Sergio Peréz won the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in a landslide with 25 points, seven more than the runner-up, Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. The weekend before the race, Peréz signed on with Red Bull for another two years, all while re-establishing himself as one of the best drivers in the sport.
“For me, this has been an incredible week,” Peréz said in a statement following the race. “Winning the Monaco Grand Prix is a dream for any driver and then to follow that with announcing I will continue with the Team until 2024 just makes me extremely happy.”
Bad Bunny is up for Album of the Year at the 2023 Grammys
Bad Bunny isn’t just the most-streamed artist in the world. He’s also up for an Album of the Year Grammy in 2023 for his wildly popular “Un Verano Sin Tí.” The nomination marks the first time a Spanish-language record is up for the award.
If all of that weren’t enough, “Un Verano Sin Tí” is also Billboard’s top charting album of 2022 and one of the year’s most critically acclaimed records. The sky is the limit for Bad Bunny, and it’s looking like he’ll take home the trophy next year.
And, of course, Argentina won the World Cup
No list of Latino achievements in 2022 would be complete without a mention of Argentina’s World Cup victory. The team, led by 35-year-old Lionel Messi, brought Argentina its first victory since 1986, supposedly breaking the Curse of Tilcara that has prevented the team from winning since their last victory.
The curse, however, was the least of Messi’s concerns. The player has always had a complicated relationship with the people of Argentina. Messi’s statue has been defaced multiple times and many of his fellow Argentinians haven’t had a nice word to say about him in quite some time.
By securing this win, Messi has also cemented his legacy in the country where he was born.
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