The 90th annual Academy Awards were, by any definition, a moment of triumph for Latinos.
Guillermo del Toro became the third Mexican-born filmmaker to win best director, and it was his lavish Cold War fantasy “The Shape of Water” that was crowned best picture. Pixar’s box-office smash “Coco,” the biggest budget studio release to feature a largely Hispanic cast, won best animated feature and best song. Lin-Manuel Miranda reminded viewers of Puerto Rico, rebuilding from Hurricane Maria. Lupita Nyong’o advocated for the Dreamers. Rita Moreno returned, resplendently, in the dress she wore to the Oscars in 1962. And Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” won best foreign language film.
But the Oscars were also, by any measure, an aberration. As much as Hispanics had the spotlight at Sunday’s ceremony, they are seldom granted center stage by Hollywood the rest of the year.
“It was kind of ironic,” said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “By having so many presenters, you’re presenting that this is a very diversified business when it’s not. You can appreciate that they’re there. But then you can ask yourself: Is this really the way Hollywood is? And the answer is no.”