Photo: Latino Member Academy Award
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science (AMPAS), better known for handing out Oscars, is making real its proclaimed efforts at diversification.
This week the AMPAS sent out an unprecedented number of invitations, 276 to be exact, to people in the business that included a record number of Latinos in the business. 22 Latinos in the movie business were invited to join this exclusive club.
The invite list included: Miriam Colon, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Lopez, Alma Martinez Michael Pena, Geno Silva and Danny Trejo. Also invited were Latinos working in Hollywood behind the scenes that included Pablo Larrain (director) Cliff Martinez (music scores) Checco Varese (cinematographer), Paco Delgado (costume designe) among others.
Click here to see the entire list of invitees.
AMPAS came under fire from the Latino community, through the National Hispanic Media Coalition, when it omitted the late great Lupe Ontiveros from its Oscar memorial telecast. In April, 2013 the National Latino Media Council met with Academy executives seeking ways to work together.
The current 6,000+ membership mix is 94% white males with an average age of 62. Latinos are less than 2% of the membership as are African-Americans according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
The Academy membership demographic stands in stark difference to the movie going public that is diverse and young. Many in Hollywood believe the lack of diversity at the Academy is why only one woman who has won an Oscar for movie directing and why less than 4% of the acting awards have gone to African-Americans.
Latinos in the business hope Academy diversification means more movies about, for and by Latinos and more roles for Latinos actors.