Between 100 and 200 protesters gathered Saturday at the site of Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards Ceremony to call for more representation of Latinos in on-screen and behind-the-camera roles in motion pictures.
The demonstrators met at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard and moved north to the entrance of the Dolby Theatre, with many chanting and holding signs such as “Enough is Enough” and “#OscarsSoWhite.”
The National Hispanic Media Coalition, which organized Saturday’s demonstration, held a similar protest Feb. 5 outside the annual Oscar nominees’ lunch at the Beverly Hilton. That event drew several dozen people.
“Because they have not been willing to talk to us, our next step will be to see which of the six major studios we will boycott nationwide,” Alex Nogales, NHMC’s president and chief executive officer, told Deadline.com.
“Hollywood continues to be challenged by gender and ethnic diversity,” Nogales said at last month’s protest. “Our upcoming demonstrations are only the first of what will become increasingly aggressive wake-up calls to Hollywood executives to end the exclusion of Latinos in the industry. By targeting the very important and visible Academy events, we’re publicly serving notice to the motion picture executives that we’re not asking for equity anymore. We’re demanding it.”
The group cited studies conducted from 2007 to 2016 by the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, which showed, among other finding, that only 3.1 percent of film characters during that time were Hispanic.
The Academy has been working over the past few years to increase the percentage of women and “people of color” among its ranks, in the wake of the ” OscarsSoWhite” criticism generated by two years of all-white slates of Oscar nominees in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016, the Academy announced a series of changes to its voting and membership procedures with the aim of doubling its female and “diverse” membership by 2020.
—City News Service