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Actor John Leguizamo will be boycotting the Emmys this year for lack of ‘Latinx’ representation.
Speaking with Yahoo! Entertainment, the “Critical Thinking” star said that he has “no reason” to watch the Emmys if he does not see people of his ethnicity on screen. He blamed the lack of representation on industry titans for not telling enough stories about Latino people.
“I’m boycotting,” he said. “If you don’t have Latin people, there’s no reason for me to see it. What’s the point?”
“It’s unbelievable that our stories aren’t being told and there’s one reason for that,” he continued. “Executives don’t see us, don’t get us — don’t care about us.”
Leguizamo likened this to “cultural apartheid.”
“I’m just dying to see positive Latin stories out there,” he emphasized.
“It’s just not OK to ignore us, exclude us,” he added. “We’re the largest minority group in the country. We’re the biggest voting block. We’re going to decide who the president is this year.”
As reported by Fox News, no major award category features a nominee of Latinx heritage; black actors, however, are represented in each category alongside a “handful of other actors of color.”
The lack of Latin representation at the Emmys has been a major sore note for diversity activists.
“These disappointments would be laughable if they weren’t so demoralizing. Last year, although four Latinos received nominations and one, Jharrel Jerome, took home a well-deserved trophy for the essential Netflix miniseries When They See Us, not a single Latina performer got a nod from the Television Academy,” wrote Laura Bradley at the Daily Beast. “And this year, once again, despite a wealth of talent, too few Latinx names made it to the ballot.”
In response to the alleged lack of diversity, the Television Academy told the Los Angeles Times that representation has made progress over the years despite not always being equal. “We feel it is a very positive sign that over the past decade the well-deserved recognition of performers of color has increased from 1 in 10 to 1 in 3 nominees across all performer categories,” said the organization. “Clearly that increase in representation has not been equal for all groups, and clearly there is still more to do to improve both gender and racial representation across all categories.”
Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) released its new guidelines for inclusion, which dictated that movies must meet a diversity threshold, employing specific minority individuals in front of or behind the camera to qualify for Best Picture. The Los Angeles Times reported:
Those standards require one of the following: at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from certain underrepresented groups; or the main storyline, theme or narrative is centered on an underrepresented group.
To be eligible for best picture, a film must meet at least two standards across four categories: “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives,” “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” “Industry Access and Opportunities” and “Audience Development.” Within each category are a variety of criteria …