After several Latino organizations have publicly criticized the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for not including the late actor Lupe Ontiveros during Sunday’s Oscars 2013 memorial tribute, tonight Ontiveros’ family issued a statement via an email from the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC):
In response to the inquiries we have received from several news outlets, we would like to express our disappointment about the unfortunate omission of our wife and mother Lupe Ontiveros from the 85th Annual Academy Awards’ “In Memoriam” tribute. We believe the Academy and the show’s producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron made a poor decision in choosing not to acknowledge the passing of our mother in this tribute which traditionally has become an important part of the Academy Awards. We understand that she is only one of many noteworthy actors and industry veterans who passed away in 2012 that were not included in the segment, but we believe that her contributions and dedication of nearly forty years to the film industry were worthy of this honor.
As a U.S.-born actress and member of the Latino community here in the United States, she was loved and respected by many for her achievements on screen. We believe the Academy’s glaring omission displayed an indifference to the Latino community and made a statement about the lack of regard for Latino talent in film. It was also a missed opportunity by the Academy to reach out to the millions of Latinos movie fans, who go to the movies at a higher rate than any other group in the U.S.
Elias P. Ontiveros (youngest son of Lupe Ontiveros)
On behalf of the Ontiveros Family
According to the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, NHFA Chairman and Co-founder Felix Sánchez said earlier today on his organization’s Facebook page that he had asked the Academy to add Ontiveros’ name to its current online memoriam list. There were indications that the Academy will indeed be placing Ontiveros’ name to the page and that is was expected to be added by this evening. However, as of this posting, Ontiveros’ names is not on that online list, yet her image and name do appear on the actual Oscars.com page.
“Lupe Ontiveros stood as an example of perseverance to our community through her many film and TV roles,” Sánchez said. “While she did not receive the attention she deserved during the live Oscar telecast, she will be forever remembered by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Lupe’s life will serve as a lighthouse to the next generation of Latinos ready and waiting in the wings.”