There are certain things one can expect at The Oscars: the red carpet, awkward moments when a joke falls flat, sappy speeches, boring speeches, genuine heartfelt speeches, and the In Memoriam Tribute video. As an observer you’ll ‘oohhh’ at the face of an actor you admired, or whisper a gentle ‘oh wow’ when you learn the cinematographer of your favorite movie from childhood has passed (’cause truth is you probably don’t know his name, what he looks like, and People didn’t cover the passing).
This year Barbara Streisand took the stage and sang “The Way We Were” to soundtrack the pre-edited In Memoriam Tribute video. It was wonderful – except for the fact that one of the Latin community’s iconic stars was not included. Film and television icon, Lupe Ontiveros, who passed last July at the age of 69 of liver cancer, never showed up in the film. It’s tough to understand why she fell through the cracks. Best know across the American board for her role in Selena, Lupe was a recognizable face to most, even if you couldn’t place her name. Who let that slip behind the scenes?
Since the ceremony, media outlets have been bombarded by slighted and disappointed fans. Both the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts were up in arms about the snub. In fact, the day after the awards Felix Sanchez, co-founder and chairman of NHFA, contacted the Academy’s “Diversity Chair” to request she be added to the online listing. The blurb was somewhat remedied, but as you can imagine the Latin community does feel slighted by the neglect.