Every year, the Oscars take a moment to remember the Hollywood-makers that passed away. The list usually includes well-known celebrities and some lesser-known ones, as well as behind the scenes players, such as writers, producers and editors.
The 2013 list had some glaring omissions. One that caused a stir among the Latino community was the absence of Lupe Ontiveros, who died of cancer in July 2012.
Lupe may never have an ultra famous celebrity Hollywood, but she was well-known and respected by Latino media, filmmakers and audience, and had a steady career in film and television.
During her 35 years in showbiz, she had numerous high-profile roles in films like “Selena,” “El Norte,” “Real Women Have Curves” and had a recurring role in “Desperate Housewives,” for which she received an Emmy nomination.
She would often joke that Hollywood typecast her, having her play a maid in more than 150 films and television shows, even though she was highly educated and spoke multiple languages. She played a maid in James L. Brooks’s “As Good as It Gets” and Steven Spielberg’s “Goonies.”
Lupe wasn’t the only glaring omission in the video montage during the Oscars. There were multiple snubs. Among those missing: Larry Hagman, Andy Griffith, Barry Gibb and Donna Summer.
Realizing the slip, and to cover some bases, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posted a supplementary “In Memorium” online gallery to honor those who didn’t get recognized during the awards show. But Lupe Ontiveros was also left out the online slideshow.
It’s not like the producers of this nostalgic segment didn’t have time to prepare. Is this a sign they’re insensitive, clueless or just don’t care about their Latino audience?
2/27/13 Update: After much criticism and outrage from the Latino community, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science today added Lupe to the In Memoriam gallery. In a statement issued yesterday by the star’s family, her son says:
“We believe the Academy’s glaring omission displayed an indifference to the Latino community and made a statement about the lack of regard for Latino talent in film. It was also a missed opportunity by the Academy to reach out to the millions of Latinos movie fans, who go to the movies at a higher rate than any other group in the U.S.”