National Hispanic Media Coalition:
Elevating need for diversity through entertainment awards season

The National Hispanic Media Coalition made headlines in news and entertainment coverage this awards season for supporting new opportunities for Latinos to work behind and in front of the camera.

NHMC changed the media narrative from one that praised Hollywood for their recent efforts to diversify their ranks to one that also drew attention to other groups, including Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans, that remain critically underrepresented in the entertainment industry.

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NPR’s Latino USA also called out the Golden Globes on diversity using the statement issued by NHMC’s Alex Nogales that tied underrepresentation in entertainment to the misperceptions of Latinos in society. “Today, Latinos make up 18 percent of the population and we need to represent those faces, voices and stories, if we are ever to increase the understanding and empathy that so many performers highlighted in their eloquent acceptance speeches about diversity and inclusion last night,” Nogales was quoted as saying.

NHMC also put forward a powerful vision of how film studios must improve diversity and inclusion by creating more pathways for Latinos to succeed in the industry. They engaged journalists around their work to change the face of the entertainment industry as a leader in the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition.

After the announcement of the Oscar nominations, USA Today ran a story which represented the views of NHMC and two other groups in the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, urging Hollywood to embrace full inclusiveness. NHMC president Alex Nogales was quoted stating, “Without question, the multidimensional portrayals of our community are what audiences want.”

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In addition to revealing the reasons why the award season fell short in recognizing Latinos, NHMC convened the 20th Latino Impact Awards Gala and invited the media to honor those breaking barriers in film and television.

EFE News Service provided comprehensive coverage of NHMC’s gala with three pieces. The first story focused on the broader issue of Latinos being underrepresented and included an interview with Alex Nogales, which was printed in nine other outlets including La Oferta, Univision and El Nuevo Herald. The second piece included red carpet footage of the gala used by outlets including Caras Mexico and W Radio. The third piece highlighted the purpose of the gala itself, with quotes from Nogales and information about each honoree, and was reprinted by outlets including MSN Noticias and Hoy Los Angeles.

Following NHMC’s outreach the morning after the Golden Globes, the Los Angeles Times pointed out that the celebration of diversity at the ceremony overlooked Latinos. Alex Nogales, NHMC president and CEO was quoted articulating the problem that “few Latinos were nominated this year because there are still too few roles offered to Latinos, behind and in front of the camera, especially in film.”

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Over the long term, NHMC worked with Refinery 29 on a piece to focus on all creatives of color at the Oscar’s this year. In speaking about Latino audiences, Alex Nogales pointed out how it’s not just the viewers that are missing out, it’s the film studios too: "We consume at a higher rate than anyone else, up to 1.5 trillion dollars a year. We see more films than any other group, we use more social media than anybody else. And yet, we’re absent from the big screen."

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Top entertainment outlets picked up on NHMC’s advocacy efforts as part of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition with The Wrap publishing a story featuring the group’s disappointment with the Oscar nominations, which was reprinted by the Houston Chronicle, SF Gate and the Laredo Morning Times. “Creatives of color in Hollywood are producing outstanding work that fosters a greater understanding of today’s diverse America and we applaud all of the nominees announced by the Academy today,” Alex Nogales was quoted saying. Variety’s coverage of the Oscars included input from Alex Nogales on the communities that remain underrepresented, “Latinos are outraged, our actors are not getting the opportunities to work in front of camera, and with few exceptions, in back of camera as well.”

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Al Jazeera English sat down with Alex Nogales to discuss the lack of diversity at the Oscars, which aired the Sunday of the Academy Awards. “We’re very good actors, very good directors, very good writers. The opportunities are not coming our way.”