The under-representation of minorities being recognized at the Oscars has been as issue for decades, but it doesn't seem to be getting much better. Aubrey Plaza noticed the slow progress and rightfully called out the Academy Awards for its lack of Latina nominees.
The actress, who is half-Puerto Rican, was one of the honorees at last week's 21st Annual Impact Awards where she accepted the award for for outstanding performance in a motion picture for her role in Ingrid Goes West. And in her signature sarcastic tone, Plaza used her speech to point out the Oscars' flaws. “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,” Plaza said. “Ever. So I’m going to accept that tonight to manifest that energy.”
Plaza continued to joke that while her role in Ingrid couldn't win the award, "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. And I’m going to win that award." The Impact Awards places a spotlight on Latinx members in Hollywood who are making strides in film and their community. National Hispanic Media Coalition, the organization that spearheads the ceremony, is planning to protest on March 3 as a wake-up call about the Oscars lack of inclusion. It will be ran by the organization's CEO and president, Alex Nogales. “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,” he told Variety. “They should be ashamed of themselves for not utilizing these wonderful actors here tonight and across the nation.”
There isn't a single Latinx actor or actress nominated at the 90th annual Oscars (which airs on March 4). But the Academy has recognized famed director Guillermo del Toro for his work on The Shape of Water with a leading 13 nominations, while Disney-Pixar's animated film Coco scored a nomination for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. But there is a slice of hope for change. The Chilean actress Daniela Vega, who was praised for her performance in A Fantastic Woman, will make history as the first openly transgender actress to present at the Academy Awards.
The Oscars still have a long way to go when it comes to representation for all minorities: Latinx, Black, Asian, etc. But with people like Aubrey Plaza using her platform to speak out against the issues, there can only be room for the ceremony to finally fix their diversity imbalance.
Below, watch former Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso discuss his dream for diversity and truth: