Why were Latinos practically absent from the Oscars last night? (VIDEO)
I have to say I'm extremely disappointed with the Oscars and the Academy. They didn't include in their tribute to all the actors we lost this past year our beloved Lupe Ontiveros. I was even hoping they might honor Jenni Rivera (since her last project before her tragic death was the movie Filly Brown), but her absence I can understand. But Lupe's? No way! There was also some bad jokes about our stars' accents: Salma Hayek, Penélope Cruz, and Javier Bardem. I want to know how many languages Family Guy creator and Oscars host Seth MacFarlane speaks, really.
I'm not a very sensitive person, there aren't really many jokes that get to me. I actually think it's kind of healthy for us to laugh at ourselves and at our differences. But the fact the Lupe was ignored, that really is sad. So are 41 movies and various awards not enough to make her a respected actress in their eyes? That is truly an insult!
The truth, though, is that I was a little disappointed with the Academy since the nominations were announced. I thought Bardem, at least, deserved recognition for the amazing work he did as the villain in the latest Bond flick, Skyfall. But I understood that this year, there was tremendous amount of talent for only five spots.
I was also really discouraged to see only TWO of our Latino talents at the awards and presenting last night: beautiful Zoe Saldana was great, and Salma Hayek ... well, as always, she was radiant. Is that all the Academy thinks we have to offer? Again, I settled for having at least these two ladies being highlighted. There weren't many presenters that weren't white ... and honestly, I'm not surprised that it's in California where we were so grossly ignored. But okay, let's move on.
It was great, though, to see Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda nab the Oscar for his work in Life of Pi, and also great to see Argo, which is based on the life and work of Latino CIA agent Tony Mendez, get so much recognition. But it's not enough, in my eyes, to make up for how Ontiveros was completely ignored, after such a long and prolific career. I mean, they honore actors who hadn't made a movie in 50 years--but they leave our Lupe out? I am honestly floored.
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And regarding Jenni: I just had a conversation with my editor, who believes that honestly she didn't think that la Diva de la Banda was going to be honored for her work on one film. I wholeheartedly disagree. Filly Brown was screened to the world at the Sundance Film Festival just this past year; Jenni herself was there. Even though it doesn't hit theaters until March, it was shown last year. Both Lupe Ontiveros and Jenni should have been included in the In Memoriam segment at last night's Oscars. So as we would say on Twitter, #MASSIVEfail.
As for the accent comment, my problem wasn't with that part of the joke--there's nothing strange about adults who learn another language not having a perfect acecent in English, even if they have the grammar of Shakespeare. (In fact, English with a Spanish accent can be a good thing these days ... just ask Sofia Vergara!)
Nonetheless, this doesn't mean you have the right to belittle the actual talent these stars have. If MacFarlane would have said as a punchline, "...But with their TALENT we forget their accent," well all would have been okay. Instead, he quipped that when these actors get on stage, "We have no idea what they're saying but we don't care because they're so attractive." Ridiculous! No one cares because they're incredible actors--their accent is completely eclipsed by their talent.
So we all know what an amazing talent Lupe Ontiveros was, this is how she told her story:
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