America Ferrera, Colman Domingo, and Miles Morales in a post about the 2024 Oscars

It’s Not Enough to Nominate Us for Oscars, Hollywood Needs to Respect Us Too

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

The 96th Academy Awards have come and gone, and once again, 2024 ended with no Latine Oscar winners. Not just in main acting, directing, or producing categories either. We’re also counting stories compromised of Latine casts or that tell Latine stories.

Our communities not getting any wins during the Oscars comes despite America Ferrera being nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Barbie, the blockbuster of 2023 – making 1.4 billion. Despite Colman Domingo, an Emmy winner already for Euphoria and one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood, being nominated for Best Leading Actor for Rustin. Despite Society of the Snow being one of Netflix’s most popular non-English language movies ever, with over 90 million views and earning a nomination for Best International Feature Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Despite Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s nomination in the Best Animated Feature Film Category and a box office of almost $700 million dollars. 

The problem is at the root of Hollywood. It’s not, of course, that movies like Oppenheimer, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest don’t deserve accolades. They do, and so do the winning actors who have worked long and hard in this industry. The problem is that, for example, the movies nominated start from a very different place than movies like Society of the Snow. They have the backing, the budget, and the benefit of the doubt from the beginning. Stories about us or centered around us don’t have that most of the time. And even when we do, it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.

America Ferrera in Barbie
Warner Bros.
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The Oscars are supposed to celebrate quality, and yet, the same Oscars have only ever honored three women with Latin American heritage, such as Rita Moreno, who introduced America Ferrera in 1962, and Ariana DeBose in 2022. There’s also Lupita Nyong’o, who identifies as Kenyan-Mexican, for 12 Years a Slave in 2014. All three were in the Supporting Actress category. And in 2024, it’s hard to believe we’re playing on an even playing field, especially when that playing field says Ferrera’s Barbie becoming a cultural touchstone for not just Latinas but for women and girls, in general, isn’t enough to win accolades at the biggest night in Hollywood. 

Colman Domingo, who was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Rustin, was the first Afro-Latino ever nominated for an Oscar. That’s both groundbreaking and, in many ways, heartbreaking. We shouldn’t be celebrating those kinds of firsts in 2024 when this awards ceremony is in its 96th year. And yet, that’s where Hollywood still is. They’re still playing catch up while Latines account for 24% of box office ticket sales and the same percentage of streaming subscribers according to a recent study

For our communities, the 2024 Oscars feel like the confirmation that nothing has changed and a much-needed wake-up call for an industry that has gotten away with giving the Latine community just scraps for far too long. Because it’s not enough to nominate us. Hollywood needs to respect us, give us those wins, and acknowledge our work in the same manner they acknowledge our white counterparts who are supposedly in the same industry and have the same chance but are acknowledged for their work every single year in spades. 

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin
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And that implies not just hiring us to be the supporting actors in other people’s stories, but investing in our stories as well and letting us be at the forefront of telling those stories. It means listening to us and allowing us not just to be the face, but also be part of the process of crafting those stories, the ones that center us and our triumphs, not just our pain and our sorrows, and dismantle stereotypes that have plagued our communities and put us in boxes like the “spicy Latina” or “narco.” 

It means treating us like we are part of this industry we have also worked so hard to create and to see flourish alongside those who are fighting for representation as much as we are. It means not only making space at the table, but making sure the table is bigger from the get-go and that our shows don’t get canceled after one season or that movies have us in front of the camera and behind it. And when that happens, then maybe we won’t have to go through another year like 2024 where it feels like the Oscars — like the industry itself — are just not for us or can’t see us. But we’re here. We’ve always been here. And we won’t stop until you see us.