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Emmy Nominees Are More Diverse Than Ever, But Latinos Still Overlooked

Jesse Garrison/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Emmys are the start of Hollywood's long awards season. They honor the best performances and shows on television. There's more diversity this year among the nominees. But Kristen Lopez, TV editor for IndieWire, told Texas Standard that the Television Academy overlooked some of the standout shows and performances by Latinos, as well as by trans actors and actors with disabilities.

"There's still definitely areas that we could see improvement on, although it's great to see the nominees that we got this year; it's a real serious step in the right direction," Lopez said.

"Pose," for example, was nominated for "Best Series." The show is about the Black and Latinx queer ballroom scene in New York City in the 1980s and '90s. But none of the trans, Latina or Latinx actors in that show were nominated this year.

"It's frustrating," Lopez said. "It's like saying a restaurant was great but the chefs had nothing to do with it."

There also hasn't been a Latina nominated for best actress since Rita Moreno was nominated 41 years ago for "The Rockford Files."

"It was insane to me, especially if you know what Rita Moreno has been doing as an actress – she's an EGOT winner," Lopez said. (An EGOT is a performer who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.)

Lopez said the Television Academy, which comprises members of the television industry who nominate and vote for the winners, is "maybe a bit

fearful of branching out" with more diverse nominees.

"You need to go with some people that maybe aren't sure bets," she said.

With more TV platforms and shows than ever, there's also more diversity among actors and stories than before. But they're often missed, Lopez said, because of the sheer number of shows on TV.

"That's the hard part now – promotion. With so many different streaming services ... not everybody has the time to watch everything because there is just so much content," Lopez said.

Networks normally campaign for their Emmy-nominated shows, but not every show gets the same attention. In 2018, for example, the Netflix show "One Day at a Time" about a Latino family had to pay for its own Emmy campaign.

"A studio kind of has their ponies; they know the ones that they're going to really put the money behind," Lopez said.

The Emmys will be broadcast Sept. 20 on ABC.

Web story by Caroline Covington.

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