UPDATED, 10:58 AM: Eva Longoria and other prominent Latinos are asking Oscar attendees to wear brown ribbons to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony to raise awareness about the lack of Latino representation in Academy membership and in the entertainment industry overall. “I can’t wait for the day when ‘diversity’ isn’t just the hot topic of the moment but a true reality that is reflected on screen,” Longoria said today as part of the announcement, of which the National Hispanic Media Coalition is also a part. “The change is coming.”
PREVIOUSLY, February 24: The NAACP says it will not be joining the Oscar protests Sunday night outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, choosing instead to work behind the scenes with Academy leaders to make the Oscars, the Academy and the industry more inclusive. “We’re not having a formal protest,” said Ron Hasson, president of the group’s Hollywood/Beverly Hills branch.
But several other civil rights groups, including the LA Urban Policy Roundtable, say that they will picket Sunday’s Oscars show. A similar protest was canceled last year at the request of director Ava DuVernay, who many felt was snubbed for not having been nominated for her direction of Selma. This year, DuVernay will be joining several other Oscar boycotters for a bit of counterprogramming that will be held at the same time as the Oscar ceremony. That event, which will feature live performances and conversations with artists, will be held in Flint, MI, to highlight the city’s ongoing water crisis. Other Oscar boycotters who will be joining her include comedian Hannibal Buress and Ryan Coogler, director of Creed, whose Sylvester Stallone is nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The NAACP’s Hasson met recently with Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to discuss a wide range of issues. “We met about three weeks ago to discuss diversity issues, and we are in the process of setting up another meeting to continue our discussions,” he told Deadline.
“We talked about the business necessity for diversity,” Hasson said. “We talked about monitoring the Academy and the studios in their diversity efforts. We talked about the need for the Academy to do more advertising in minority newspapers and the minority community to have more understanding about how the Academy operates.” He said he also talked to Hudson about employment opportunities for minority contractors as the Academy gears up to build its much-heralded Museum of Motion Pictures.
Hasson says that he plans to meet with Hudson again “to come up with some more concrete action items that we would like to see move forward.” He said he hopes that Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs will join the next round of talks. “She would be a great addition to our talks,” he said, noting that she is “trying to move the Academy in the right direction.”
Rather than protesting, Hasson said that the NAACP believes that “the solution lies in sitting down and meeting with the responsible people to bring about changes that we feel are necessary. If we do not reach any kind of agreement, we will have to elevate it to the next step.”