Aubrey Plaza was recently honored at the 21st Annual Impact Awards organized by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) for her outstanding performance in Ingrid Goes West. During her acceptance speech, Plaza highlighted an important issue in her own satirical way, bringing attention to the lack of Hispanic nominees at the upcoming 90th Academy Awards.
She pretended that she was winning an Oscar, saying, "I’m going to accept the leading best actress award on behalf of the Oscars ceremony because I heard a fun fact tonight that I never knew before, which is that no Latina actress has ever won best actress at the Oscars. Ever. So I’m going to accept that tonight to manifest that energy."
"I’ll play some kind of psychotic character, some kind of criminal lunatic, those complicated characters I’m good at, and I’ll do that for you," she said, referring to her portrayal of the mentally unstable character Ingrid. "And I’m going to win that award."
The president and CEO of the NHMC, Alex Nogales, also addressed the issue, telling Variety ahead of the awards, "Tonight is a show of people that are working in film and television. This is about celebrating them and pushing the studios and pushing the film industry to do better. They should be ashamed of themselves for not utilizing these wonderful actors here tonight and across the nation."
These comments were in reference to the failure of the Academy Awards to recognize Daniela Vega's acclaimed role in A Fantastic Woman as well as Salma Hayek's commendable performance in Beatriz at Dinner. In fact, had she been included, Vega would have made history as the first openly transgender performer to be nominated for an Oscar.
Plaza's speech comes four months after some of the biggest Hispanic actresses in Hollywood got together to celebrate #LatinaPower in an attempt to unite their efforts and share their experiences as Latina women in an industry that refuses to represent them adequately or sometimes even acknowledge them.
Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez and Superstore's America Ferrara organized a meet-up of Latina actresses on October 17 and November 13 last year, to celebrate their shared identity as well as promote the Time'sUp Movement. Eiza Gonzalez wrote on an Instagram post, "Im proud to be a Latina. Being a woman ain't easy but together we are always stronger."
She then invited Latina women in diverse roles to join their movement, writing, "Hello to every industry. There's more than one seat in the table. Come sit with us. Be a mentor. (and we are missing a ton of our girls making moves here!) how about we STOP attacking each other women!! It's better when we unite 💕"
Taking a leaf from the #OscarsSoWhite movement in 2015 and 2016 that protested the lack of nominations given to black actors, Nogales is planning to organize a similar protest in support of the Hispanic acting community. Despite making up 23 percent of frequent movie-goers in the United States, Latino characters only had 3 percent of the speaking roles in Hollywood films over the past 10 years.
He described their plans to stage a demonstration: "We are expecting that we are going to have to go to the Academy Awards this year and demonstrate. We’ve tried to push in less hostile ways. But these studios don’t seem to understand anything else." The demonstration is scheduled for March 3, the day before the 90th Academy Awards.
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