Lupe Ontiveros (Photo: (Photo: Everett Collection)We noted earlier the big names that didn't make this year's Oscar show In Memoriam segment; and the late, prolific Latina actress Lupe Ontiveros was one of them.
The late performer, who died in July at the age of 69, appeared in titles, including, "The Goonies" (1985), "Selena" (1997), television's "Desperate Housewives," and the Oscar-winning film "As Good As It Gets" (1997).
On Tuesday, the National Hispanic Media Coalition spoke out against the Academy's omission of Ontiveros, pointing out that she was denied Academy membership. "It is astonishing that an actress of Ontiveros' caliber and experience was denied membership to the Academy," the NHMC wrote in a statement, adding, "We ask that the Academy take a moment to pause and reflect on its commitment to the growing U.S. Latino talent."
Ontiveros' family has now weighed in, accusing the Academy of displaying "an indifference to the Latino community and... lack of regard for Latino talent in film." Here is their entire statement:
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