On Friday night, at the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s twenty-first annual Impact Awards, Aubrey Plaza went onstage to accept her award for her outstanding performance in a motion picture (for Ingrid Goes West). She put her famous humor to use by pretending she was accepting the best actress award at the Oscars, making a major and necessary point about Latinx inclusion in Hollywood’s film industry along the way.
For context, the Impact Awards recognize not just the work of Hollywood’s Latinx community, but also individuals in that community making a difference through activism, according to Variety. The coalition has been especially vocal this year in terms of taking a hard—and necessary—look at Latinx representation in the film industry, going so far as to plan a protest for March 3, the day before the Oscars, to make a point about the dearth of Latinx actors cast in lead and even speaking roles, arguing rightly that the ongoing lack of inclusion basically removes them from any sort of awards consideration.
“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.”
“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,” she added. “And I’m going to win that award.”
The president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Alex Nogales, told Variety that Hollywood’s studios “should be ashamed of themselves for not utilizing these wonderful actors here tonight and across the nation.”
Another Latina actress, Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez, also recently addressed the lack of Latinx actors in such roles with some powerful words at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January.
“Yay, Sony, for putting a Latino in the lead, because barely people do that,” she said. “I mean, we do make $50 million plus for the country—no big deal—you should throw us in a movie or two, it would make sense. We do buy one in every four tickets every single weekend and make sure that your movies do well. So it would do you a service. And not only service, it would be—I don’t know—integrity. So thank you, Paramount and Sony, you’re driving the game, you’re doing it. You’re opening the doors.”
-Gina Rodriguez Calls for More Latinx Representation: ‘We Deserve the Same Respect’
-This New Study About Female Movie Characters Will Infuriate You
-Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen Showed Up to a Premiere in the Same Dress