When the nominations for the 2020 Emmy Awards were recently announced, Latinxs were reminded yet again of an ugly Hollywood truth. We aren’t represented enough, and when amazing Latinx actors do give stellar performances, they aren’t being recognized by academies. It’s far from the first year that great performances by gente have been faced with Emmy snubs.
We can’t ignore the Latinxs that have been nominated this year, however. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Superbowl Halftime Show was nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (Live), while Karamo Brown received a nod as co-host of Queer Eye, and Alexis Bledel’s guest role on Handmaid’s Tale earned her a nomination. But what happened to Rita Moreno’s nomination for One Day at a Time? Or Mj Rodriguez’s nod for her role in Pose? Though we were thrilled when Jharell Jerome won his well deserved Emmy last year, there are several Latinxs who have been snubbed by the television academy over the decades, and it’s indicative of a lack of inclusivity that has plagued Hollywood for decades. Let’s take a look at 12 Latinxs who should have definitely received a statue, or at the very least a nomination.
Sofia Vergara, for Modern Family
Sofia Vergara is one of the lucky Latinx actors who has received an Emmy nomination for her work on television. In fact, for her role as Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family, the Colombian has earned four nods for Outstanding Supporting Actress In a Comedy Series. But where is her win?! Vergara topped the list of highest-paid actresses on TV for years and was on a show that dominated the airwaves and awards shows for over a decade.
Sara Ramirez, for Grey’s Anatomy
"The cast and crew of Grey's Anatomy clapped for Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez after they finished the fighting scene in Season 9 Episode 24 'The Storm' for their amazing performance."#GreysAnatomy #facts @JessicaCapshaw @SaraRamirez @GreysABC pic.twitter.com/Rhfz88RBor
— GA facts🥠 (@Azrobbxjesscap) May 24, 2019
Sara Rodriguez is another Latina who should have taken home an Emmy. The Chicana played Dr. Calliope “Callie” Torres on the show Grey’s Anatomy from 2006 to 2016, garnering buzz for fierce performances and even reportedly earning a round of applause from the cast and crew of the show after a particularly intense scene. She also broke down barriers as the first
Freddie Prinze, for Chico and the Man
Freddie Prinze Jr. was repping for Latinxs on television back in the 1970s, when a sitcom centered around young mechanic Francisco “Chico” Rodriguez, and his friendship with his older Anglo boss Jack Albertson. The show became a hit and made comedian Freddie a star, but sadly it didn’t garner him a much-deserved Emmy nomination.
Gina Rodriguez, for Jane the Virgin
Like Chico and the Man, Jane the Virgin became a hit TV show that put Latinxs and their lives front and center in the living rooms of families everywhere. Based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgin, this dramedy telenovela tells the story of Jane, who accidentally gets artificially inseminated by her gynecologist, forever changing her life. The title role is played by Puerto Rican Gina Rodriguez, who received a Golden Globe for her performance in 2015 but never an Emmy.
Mj Rodriguez, for Pose
Okay, real talk… what does @MjRodriguez7 have to do – aside from baring her heart & pouring her soul into every damn scene – to get a Best Actress nomination?! #PoseFX #Emmys pic.twitter.com/eJwSudMtkh
— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) July 28, 2020
Pose, a powerhouse of a drama that focuses on the LGBTQ 1980s and ’90s ballroom scene in New York gives shine to the Black and Latinx stars of the day. Actor Billy Porter has been given his due credit by the Television Academy, becoming the first openly gay Black man to earn a leading Emmy (Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series). A snub for this year’s Emmys from the Pose family, however, is Mj Rodriguez, who plays Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista. The Afro-Puerto Rican has wowed audiences with her “break outstarring role,” and rightfully deserves an award for her work.
Kirk Acevedo, for Oz
So, I'm rewatching HBO's Oz and I completely forgot what quality content this was! I remember it being amazing, but the amount of real issues being explored on this show was incredible for the late 90's/early 2000's. And Kirk Acevedo is always a joy to watch pic.twitter.com/1ZON2aqYUY
— Hero West (@therealherowest) February 18, 2019
Oz made history as HBO’s first one-hour drama, and for six seasons, it rocked television. It focused on the Emerald City unit at the Oswald State Correctional Facility and its inmates. Among them is Miguel Alvarez, a member of the Latinos of El Norte gang, played by Nuyorican actor Kirk Acevedo. His performance, as the grandson and son of criminals, who makes a great escape yet can never really get away from his prison life, deserved Emmy consideration.
Mishel Prada, for Vida
“We didn’t start this. There’s nothing new. It’s just our turn.” 💪✊Congratulations to @VIDA_STARZ’s Tanya Saracho, Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada on receiving the Cultural Impact Award from @womensmarch! pic.twitter.com/RHOswFrUVV
— STARZ PR (@STARZPR) January 19, 2020
Vida is one of the few fabulous shows on television with an entirely Latinx cast over the last couple of years. The Starz drama takes a look at polar opposite Chicana sisters Emma and Lyn Hernandez, who return to their neighborhood of Boyle Heights after the death of their mother. Emma, who navigates her queerness, gentrification, and family secrets, is played by Dominican/Puerto Rican/Mexican actress Mishel Prada. Her role was Emmy worthy, but Prada and other Vida Emmy-deserving stars weren’t recognized by the Television Academy. And, to add insult to injury, the popular show was canceled (prematurely if you ask us) after the third season.
Dascha Polanco/Selenis Leyva/Diane Guerrero/Laura Gomez, for Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black is the prison dramedy that made stars out of Latinas Selenis Leyva, Jessica Pimentel, Laura Gomez, Jackie Cruz, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Diane Guerrero, and Dascha Polanco. There are performances by many of these Latinxs that deserve the Emmy statue, including that of Afro-Dominican Polanco as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz, yet none of these actresses have been even nominated.
Rita Moreno, for Oz or One Day at a Time
— Ross like on Friends (@mnrmg) July 21, 2020
uy We are firm believers that if Rita Moreno takes on a role, she should probably get an award for it–such is her legendary talent. The Puerto Rican PEGOT winner has earned her place in Hollywood, starting out in a time when roles for Latinxs were stereotypical, offensive, and in the shadows, and shining ever since. One of the roles many, including us, believe that she was snubbed for an Emmy is that of Cuban family matriarch Lydia Margarita del Carmen Inclán Maribona Leyte-Vidal de Riera on the sitcom One Day at a Time.
Isabella Gomez, for One Day at a Time
People fought for One Day at a Time when the show faced cancellation on Netflix. It’s because the show is great, and features a talented cast representing the Latinx-American family. Another actress who deserves an Emmy for her role on One Day at a Time is Colombian actress Isabella Gomez as the lesbian feminist activist Cuban daughter Elena Maria Alvarez de Riera Calderón Leyte-Vidal Inclán.
Benjamin Bratt, for The Cleaner
— HD Wallpapers Life (@HDwallpaperslif) May 16, 2017
Peruvian actor Benjamin Bratt is one of the few Latinxs who has received an Emmy award. He won the Primetime Emmy in 1999 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Ray Curtis on Law & Order. But another show for which Bratt should have been considered for the Emmy is The Cleaner. In it, he plays Warren Banks (based on the real-life Warren Boyd), a recovering drug addict who helps others overcome their addictions.
Eva Longoria, for Desperate Housewives
Eva Longoria has long been a Latinx face in Hollywood, and a voice for more representation. She has also taken it upon herself to produce shows focusing on Latinx narratives, such as Devious Maids, and Telenovela. As an actress, she has seen firsthand how stellar Latinx performances often go unrecognized by the Television Academy. From 2004 to 2012, she shined in the role of Gabrielle Solis on the hit TV show Desperate Housewives, for which she received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations but zero Emmy noms.