Latino stars, producers and creators honored
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – On the eve of Oscars Weekend, Friday, the 24th, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) honored outstanding contributions to the positive portrayals of Latinos in media for the 20th year at its Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala at the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
“Though the Oscars this year once again fail to recognize the tremendous Latino talent in entertainment today, NHMC’s Impact Awards Gala seeks to give these creatives the accolades they deserve and excite a new generation of young people,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “Latinos represent 18 percent of the population and the biggest group of moviegoers in the country. Our community deserves more from film studios, a fair shot to increase the positive portrayals of Latinos across America like all of our honorees are striving to do.
On stage to accept his Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for his role as Rogelio De La Vega in Jane the Virgin, Jaime Camil said “It is a great honor to receive the award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series at this year’s National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Impact Awards Gala and a pleasure to be recognized for my work on Jane the Virgin. I admire how the NHMC has opened doors for Latinos in the media and I look forward to seeing their efforts in the continuation to assist in the advancement of Latinos.”
How to Get Away with Murder star Karla Souza received the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for her depiction of Laurel Castillo in the ABC series. Souza stated “Being a Latina doesn’t define Laurel’s character or pigeon hole her into a stereotype. It’s one of the many characteristics that make her who she is. I’m eternally grateful to Pete Nowalk and Shonda Rhimes, and casting director Linda Lowry for creating a show where diversity and inclusion are the norm and the platform used to tell amazing stories. Giving Latinos an opportunity on screen has the power to make a whole community of people feel like they exist and are also worthy of being loved and accepted.”
Roberto Orci, presented with the Visionary Impact Award by NHMC, said “This award is a tremendous honor for me as I share the same goal as NHMC which is to promote diverse talent in front of and behind the camera.”
One Day at a Time received the award for Outstanding Comedy Series and executive producers Mike Royce, Gloria Calderón Kellet, and actress Justina Machado accepted the honor. “”Mike [Royce] and I are so honored to get the opportunity to not only work on a Norman Lear show but to be able to tell authentic Latino stories,” said producer Gloria Calderón Kellet. “Representation matters. And our show deals with every day Latinos. It’s a very ‘American’ show, really. Our main character is an Army Veteran and a nurse raising two kids in Los Angeles. We talk about ‘issues” as they relate to this family. And to be able to show the complexity of human experiences and not just a stereotype is such an honor. Thank you for recognizing our show.”
Norman Lear, actor, writer, producer, director, and creator of such legendary sitcoms that defined American television including, One Day at a Time, All In The Family,Good Times, Sanford And Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, served as a special presenter. NHMC surprised Lear, who produced the One Day at a Time remake with the inaugural Media Icon Impact Award at the event. Lear said “I like being part of anything that honors our common humanity. Thank you, NHMC, for recognizing our series.”
Elena of Avalor received the award for Outstanding Animated Series, accepted by creator and executive producer Craig Gerber, and co-producer and story editorSilvia Olivas. Gerber said, “It is a privilege to bring Elena’s adventures to life on-screen, and we are honored to be recognized by the National Hispanic Media Coalition for this princess who proudly represents her heritage by embodying strong values and a responsibility to both her family and her kingdom.” Olivas adds, “As a Latina woman and mother, I am so proud to work on a show that brings our diverse cultures to the forefront of children’s television. Growing up, there were not many characters on TV that I could directly identify with, so it’s a dream come true to provide today’s children with a representation of themselves through Princess Elena and the world of Avalor.”
Hate Rising producer Catherine Tambini accepted the Outstanding Documentary award on behalf of the film’s team, including Fusion and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. Tambini shared “One of the main reasons that I make documentaries are to hopefully have an impact on society so to receive this honor for doing what I love to do, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Catherine Tambini. “Martin Luther King Jr. said that the arc of the moral universe is long but bends toward justice. Right now it feels to me that it’s warping in the other direction. That’s why it’s important for us, the filmmakers, the journalists, the media, to keep looking for the truth and demanding that it be told. We must tell the stories that may be hard to hear, hold a mirror up to the country. We must be strong, we must be vigilant, we must speak truth to power unafraid of the consequences.”
Christina Vidal, an actress known for Training Day, FreakyFriday and Welcome to the Dollhouse and Lisa Vidal, actress and producer known for Being Mary Jane, Star Trek and The Division.
The NHMC Impact Awards Gala raises important funds to support the organization’s efforts to increase positive media portrayals of Latinos, expand Latino employment in media and telecommunications, push for federal media and telecommunications policies that advance Latinos and other people of color. NHMC’s 2017 title and diamond event sponsors include The Walt Disney Company, Univision Communications Inc., and Comcast NBCUniversal.