For the last several years, much of the talk about the Academy Awards has been centered on the lack of diversity in the nominees for Hollywood's biggest honor.

The #oscarsowhite movement forced the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science to re-evaluate the nomination process. Since then, the Academy has worked to bring more people of color and young people into its ranks.

The change has led to more people of color being nominated and a more diverse group of presenters and winners at the Oscar ceremony. 

Co-hosts for the podcast "Latinos Who Lunch" Emmanuel Ortega and Justin Favela told KNPR's State of Nevada that they appreciate the efforts but 'diversity' doesn't always do what it is supposed to do.

“That’s the problem with the D-Word – diversity – that most of the time it doesn’t mean to include everybody," Favela said, "It’s just always finding that token minority. So that’s what it felt to me.” 

Ortega pointed out that Latinos have been part of the film and entertainment industry from the very beginning but have not been recognized.

“We are embedded in the industry but rarely we get recognized," he said, "Sunday was a good nod but I just don’t think it was enough.”  

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One of the winners at this year's Oscars was Disney's "Coco," which received wide praise for its portrayal of Mexican traditions. Favela and Ortega said that movie and the massive box office hit "Black Panther" are movies that are made for everyone. 

But the best picture winner "The Shape of Water," which was directed by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, was not really made for everyone. 

“I think his movies are for Hollywood people and white people," Ortega said.

While they liked the movie, which depicts a love affair between a mute cleaning woman and an amphibious god from South America, they don't consider it a "Latino movie" and they don't think it tackled the topic of race in a thoughtful way.

“What bothered me is it touched on different, very serious topics but I’m not sure it went anywhere with them," Favela said.

However, they both agreed that the movie "Get Out," which earned first-time director and writer Jordan Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, tackled race relations in America in a direct and surprising way.


Emmanuel Ortega and Justin Favela, co-hosts of the podcast, "Latinos Who Lunch"

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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada