It's Hispanic Heritage Month, But Where Were Latin Stars at the Emmys?

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Ricky Martin, Sterling K. Brown, Kate McKinnon, Tituss Burgess, Kristen Bell and Kenan Thompson perform onstage during the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Most of you may have seen the big opening number at the Emmys last night. A skit, coupled with singing and dancing, where stars of every color proclaimed “We solved it!” in reference to the diversity problem in broadcast television.

Somewhere down the line, someone clearly realized there were no Latin stars in this number and managed to squeeze in Ricky Martin.

The end result: In a five-minute, 49-second skit, Martin was on camera for all of 25 seconds. He says, “This song is way too white,” before leading the group in a mini-conga line to a Latin-ized version of the song.

It’s 2018, we are in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, and Hollywood is still figuring out how to work the token Latino into -- of all things -- the diversity number. 

At some point in the creative stage of this number, someone must have said, “Oops! We’re talking diversity and we don’t have the biggest minority in the country represented! What do to?” Bring in Ricky Martin and add those congas and trumpets we always use to scream “Latino in the house!” to spice things up.

This could have been a little bit amusing had there actually been a Latin presence at the Emmys. But out of 25 categories, Latins were nominated in only three (and, very sadly, our favorite Latin-helmed series, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was canceled earlier this year). Worst still, out of five Latin nominees, three of them -- Ricky Martin, Edgar Ramirez and Penélope Cruz -- were up for their participation in a single project, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. John Leguizamo, meanwhile, was up for supporting actor in a limited series or movie in Waco and Antonio Banderas for lead actor in a limited series or movie for Genius: Picasso.

Among the presenters? Two Latin stars: Benicio del Toro and Gina Rodriguez. (Rick and Morty's Rick Sanchez is a cartoon character, so he doesn’t count.)

And that was it. The most populous minority in the country was reduced to approximately 90 seconds of air time precisely when “diversity” is the hot-button topic of the nation.

So did the Emmys "solve" the diversity issue? No. But they did succeed in obliterating Latin representation from the equation.

Hispanic Heritage Month