Almost no Latino actors, writers, or directors were nominated for Emmys this year…but the Latino stars will be coming out, and the Latino audience will watch anyway. Why is that?
It almost goes without saying: the Emmy Awards are a lot of fun: talented, creative people whose work you recognize and enjoy, getting all dressed up and celebrating their accomplishments.
Except for Latinos in front and behind the camera. At least not this year.
This year, there are almost thirty Awards that might be televised (or might not; it all depends on the timing), encompassing more than 150 actors, directors, writers and programs. Out of that 150, exactly two Latinos, and one show with Latinos as part of the cast are included in those nominations. Two. And yet, the Emmy Awards and the networks will be more than happy to use beautiful Latinas and handsome Latinos as showcases and window dressing at the ceremony, where the Latino stars will graciously (and wisely) appear in spite of the fact that their work and their culture has been effectively shut out of the proceedings. Again.
Of course Sofia Vergara deserves the nomination for her work in Modern Family, and of course Modern Family itself deserves its nomination for Best Comedy Series. And congrats to the hugely under-appreciated Michael Cuesta for his nomination for directing. But there are so many others Latinos doing remarkable work–Aubrey Plaza, Jon Huertas, Cote de Pablo, David Zayas, Raymond Cruz, Eva Longoria, Benjamin Bratt, Lauren Vélez, Oscar Nuñez, Gina Torres, James Roday, Sarah Shahi, Lana Padilla, Sara Ramirez, and on and on and on–every single week on network and cable programs, and none of them or their programs are even nominated.
Just to make the point: Here’s the list of major awards that viewers are likely to see presented or at least mentioned on Sunday. But ask yourself: are there any Latinos in:
Comedy Series: Modern Family
Comedy Actor: Louis C.K.
Comedy Actress: Nope
Supporting Comedy Actor: Sofia Vergara
Drama Series: Nope
Drama Actress: Nope
Drama Actor: Nope
Supporting Drama Actor: Nope
Miniseries or TV Movie: Nope
Lead Actress in a Mini-Series: Nope
Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Nope
Variety Series: Nope
Reality Program: Nope
Reality competition: Nope
Hot for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Nope
Animated Program: Nope
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nope
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Bobby Cannavale
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nope
Voice-Over Performance: Nope
Directing for a Comedy Series: Louis C.K.
Writing for a Comedy Series: Louis C.K.
Directing for a Drama Series: Michael Cuesta
Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Nope
Directing for a Variety Series: Nope
Directing for a Variety Special: Louis C.K.
Writing for a Variety Series: Nope
…and more, with another clutch of awards in Cinematography, Make-Up, Technical Direction, etc. etc,, with very very few Latinos named. As well (These awards have already been given, in an untelevised program last week, and will scarcely be mentioned in the broadcast.) And it’s true that Wizards of Waverly Place, the teen show from the Disney Channel starring Selena Gomez, Maria Canals-Barrera, and Jake T. Austin did win Best Children’s Programming, in a field that included VicTORIous, starring Victoria Justice…but that award was given last week, essentially off-camera, and won’t be part of the prime time show.
But Latinos will be. They will be welcomed with open arms, photographed and feted, given good seats right near the camera…
…and almost completely ignored in every other respect.
Seriously: Maybe we shouldn’t be watching at all.