Latinos Setting Records for Emmy Noms in 2012

While Others Are Left out in the Cold

This year Latinos make big news as nominees of the 64 Primetime Emmy Awards Louis C.K., Hector Ramirez, and Sofia Vergara, shattering the glass ceiling in the number of nominations they each received.

You would think this would make big headlines in other news media, but you only get the inside on Latinos in Hollywood here.  Louis C.K. tops the Emmy Award nominations list for an individual in a creative role, with 7 noms. Cameraman Hector Ramirez in #1 on the list with most Emmy nominations of ANY nominee this year, with a total of 68 nominations — that’s nine more than HBO’s Sheila Nevins!  Sofia Vergara, is a media darling and all over the news, however an interesting fact that has been overlooked — with this year’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Gloria in Modern Family she breaks the record as the first Latina to be nominated three times in a row for the same role!

The only other on-camera Latino nominee is Bobby Cannavale who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series as Dr. Mike Cruz on Nurse Jackie.

In all only three Latino actors received an Emmy nomination.  One can only speculate as to why some of the best talent on television was overlooked.

Naya Rivera of Glee

What happened to Naya Rivera’s Emmy nomination???   She ran a huge Emmy campaign for a nomination.  The industry was so hot on the wonderful work she did this last season on Glee.  Her character was featured in the show’s landmark 300th musical performance (an Adele uptake), and the trades lauded her performance as Santana Lopez as she who dealt with comng out of the closet this past season.  It looked good…the TV academy even singled her out to host a special 10-minute Emmy video that reaches an estimated 25 million people in more than 125 countries.  But in the end, the members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (AYAS) who select the nominees and the winners, decided others were more worthy.

Ever wonder who these voting ATAS members are and how you can become one?

Sara Ramirez on Grey's Anatomy

I give you few of the overlooked talent this year:

Lauren Velez, who for seven years has been turning in magnificent performances as Lt. Maria LaGuerta on Dexter.  She has 4 nominations from broth SAG Awards and the ALMA Awards for this role

David Zayas, also on Dexter, deserves a nomination for his role as Sgt. Angel Batista and doing a fine job.

And while we are on the subject of Dexter, where is the Outstanding Guest Actor nominee for Edward James Olmos and/or Aimee Garcia for their outstanding performances last year!!


Sara Ramirez for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy.  Since 2006 she has been doing a stellar job in this role for which she has received SAG Awards, ALMA Awards and Imagen Award nominations…Madeleine Stowe in ABC’s Revenge; Aubrey Plaza of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Carlos Gomez of A&E’s The Glades and so many others.  Take note ATAS members!

On the positive side the Latinos nominated for Emmys behind the camera is where is at.  Over 22 Latinos received Emmy noms in the categories of composing, make-up, special effects, hairstylist, editing, lighting design, cinematography, title design and costumes.  Some of those nominees include Gus Dominguez, Director of Photography for Project Runway, Composer Javier Navarrete for HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, Gustavo Santaolalla for Main Theme Title music for AMC’s Hell On Wheels, and Ruy Garcia, Sound Effects Editor.  Check out all Emmy nominees HERE

The 64th Primetime Emmys will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 7pm EST.


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5 thoughts on “Latinos Setting Records for Emmy Noms in 2012

  • July 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Your article rightly makes a bold statement that Latinos/Latinas are being ignored for their acting skills, which I personally believe this will dramatically improve not by the industry recognizing they have talent, but by attrition.

    What few recognize is that the “Latino” stereo-types have not vanished from the screen, if anything they are more profound than ever. Sofia Vergara’s third nomination for “Best Supporting Actress” is actual proof. Why? Her role as Gloria Delgado Pritchett on the hit comedy series “Modern Family” is a striking example as to how (the few) Latina roles presented to the public still project the negative stereotypical image that has been perpetuated in movies and television going back almost 100 years: Sexy, hot, shapely and beautiful, but also heavy accented with strong ties to drug cartels, brothels and crime-ridden countries such as Colombia, the alleged “Murder Capital of the world.” Vergara’s role feeds and reinforces the image that most Americans have about Latinos and Latinas, ergo the Emmy Award’s voters respond with patronizing votes that confirms how they truly view Latin actors, especially women. That vote also provides for them the ability to say, “We are not racists, we voted for Sofia, didn’t we?”

    Her role is a perfect example how the general public views Latino men and woman, a stereotypic image has not subsided but has become more rampant. Most certainly, our community obviously has some of the most beautiful woman in the world (Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendez, Eva Longoria, just to name a few. Even in television news, we have a plethora of Latina anchors and those gorgeous weather-woman who are paraded on the afternoon and evening news with tight-fitting skirts, gorgeous Latina beauties who one would thing they were watching the “Miss Universe Pageant” rather than simply getting weather updates.

    Sex still sells!

    I’m happy for those gorgeous Latinas who have landed those jobs and those roles. But let us not forget that for the most part, that Latinas (especially) are being hired more so and becoming more prevalent on the screen for their beauty and curves. If that wasn’t the case, then we should be seeing more nominations for stellar acting performances by amazing actresses like Sara Ramirez, Naya Rivera, Lauren Velez, Aimee Garcia, America Ferrera, Eva LaRue, Vanessa Marcil and Rosalyn Sanchez (to name a few).

    I won’t even broach the subject of handsome and leading Latino (male) actors. With the exception of Spaniard Antonia Banderas, handsome and manly Latino actors are invisible. It seems that since the death of Rudolph Valentino (where millions of mostly white woman swooned, groaned and moaned when the silent actor died) the absence of handsome, leading Latinos is deafening. The gate masters of the silver screen will never let another Latin lover icon have that affect on their white girlfriends and wives again.

    But, as I said at the beginning, the Latino demographics are changing. Activists who have been banging on Hollywood’s doors for the opportunity to show that we have great actors in the Latino community, don’t have to picket the lines any longer. Latin lovers(with their beautiful Latina counterparts) are living and breathing examples that the Latino Lover stereotype is a reality, and all the beautiful babies they are popping out will most definitely change the big screen landscape as never before, more by attrition rather than being appreciated and acknowledged for their professional and the amazing talent inherent within such a beautiful people.

    • July 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Joe, Agreed on various counts. Stereotypes are here to stay. However, On your statement that Latina (especially) are being hired for their “beauty and curves” that seems like a kind of backhanded compliment and one that I believe is incorrect, not to mention that it takes away from the talent of all the Latinas you mention.

      Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendez, Eva Longoria, had they not been able to hold their own in the audition process, as beautiful as they are, they would NEVER had been cast — or if they had, would have been fired or re-cast once their work was on camera. (it just happened to a a beautiful Latina actress last pilot season.)

      What is unique about the talent you mention is what they all have in common — they not only have the talent and beauty — but they are all savvy businesswomen…resulting in Sofia topping the list of the highest paid Latina on TV ($19 million) with Eva Longoria coming in 3rd with $15 million). So OK, for the sake of argument, let’s say these women were hired for their beauty and curves (although let me tell you petite Longoria, as beautiful as she is, does not have that many curves) however, it is their talent that has kept them working and their brains that have made them the successful business women that they are. To me that is the most important asset that they have…their brains.

      As for the men, you are right, they are invisible. They had a great run for so long, the silent era (Ramon Novarro), the 30’s – 50’s (Anthony Quinn, Gilbert Roland, Ricardo Montalban, Desi Arnaz, and so many others, but now it is the ladies turn…and I challenge the Latino men to step up their game and make a comeback.

  • July 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Dear Bel:

    I was hoping my comments would not be taken as a backhanded compliment (which unfortunately was), nor that I did not give successful Latinas sufficient credits for their intelligence. That was not the intent of my comments, whatsoever. This is why I was careful to acknowledge (and compliment) the women who have succeeded on the silver screen, so it would not seem like an envious or disgruntled Latino male was lashing out at our Latina sisters.

    Without writing a giant book to make my initial intent more clear, let me step up to the plate and say that as a student and practitioner of media for over 45 years, and knowing how gatekeepers work behind the scene, I was trying to apprise the audience to this continued stereotype phenomenon by pointing out that the character that Sophia Vergara portrays, which you failed to mention in your response, perpetuates the image they want to reinforce. The gatekeepers are shrewder than you realize. They continue to reinforce the stereotypical Latino images that have historically been foisted on the masses by the characters they present, sending their subliminal messages as reminders that this is a typical example of what Latinos are like, reminding the masses how we are to be viewed, “and don’t you Latino folks forget it” they say behind our backs.

    But not much has changed over the years. The gatekeepers still present a “hot, spicy, sassy Latina with beauty and curves” as they have done so forever. There is nothing wrong with beauty and curves, and proud to say Latinas should be at the top of that ethnic ladder for that gift from God. However, gatekeepers exploit this aspect primarily to appeal to the prurient interest of the male audience. This is why I said, “Sex still sells.”

    Concerning Eva Longoria not having curves (which I thought was an amusing comment), I think her facial beauty and talent has been sufficient to garner her success she has achieved. Those of us who admire Latinas for the great acting abilities (like Sara Ramirez, American Ferrara, to name a few) normally do not focus on nor conjure up a beach bikini scene when we watch them spin their acting magic on the screen. It’s good to see Latina character roles that don’t ooze sex, but to see realistic, honorable, dignified and normal folks that do exist within our Latino community.

    Concerning the need for “handsome” men need to step up, since when (and where) is the dictum that there is a season for Latino men and a season for Latina woman required to present a complete image of the Latino family? Isn’t our efforts to enhance the Latino image a family project? Believe it or not, there are many Latino men who are very proud to see nuestras hermanas succeed, who not once entertained an ounce of envy when they did succeed. Those of us who have served for over the last 5 to 6 decades as advocates for Latinas and Latinos to be portrayed in a dignified and honorable manner never once considered, nor promoted one over the other. Hopefully, the Latino family image-builders can portray both male and female together as one unit, instead of expecting to see only single Latina woman raising their children by themselves while their male counterparts can be viewed as prison inmates and victims of senseless beatings in shows like “Cops” If we accept the gate-keeper agenda to destroy the family unit, by pitting Latinas to compete against Latinos, those images will soon become the norm.

    For example, concerning your remark that Latino men had their run during the heydays of Anthony Quinn, Gilbert Roland, Ricardo Montalban and Cuban Desi Arana) and now need to step up, I’m certain there are many handsome, virile Mexican actors out there who have more than enough talent to compete against the Brad Pitts, George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Patrick Dempsey. As I said, when Rudolph Valentino died, the reaction by white woman was devastating to the ego of the gate-keepers, who vowed that would never happen again. (This has been confirmed for me by a person who is working on a book about the Valentino vs. Hollywood story). Most certainly great and talented actors like our own Latino actor icon, James Edward Olmos, and great talents like Cheech Marin and Benicio Del Toro, are highly visible. But they are best known for their tremendous acting abilities more so than being screen idols.

    In reference to Sophia Vergara being a shrewd business woman, I can’t comment on that not being privy of those negotiations. Far be it for me to suggest that her and other stars like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria are not highly intelligent, and have taken advantage of their assets to negotiate big contracts. Nevertheless, gate-keepers still know what sells best and are willing to reward them by paying top dollar.
    As I have mentioned before, actors like Sara Ramirez (who also has a great voice, maybe even better than J-Lo’s) is to be admired and emulated for the great skills she brings to the silver screen. But, since her image is best portrayed as a highly qualified surgeon (who just happens to be a Latina, known more for her acting and singing talents, rather than hot, spicy and curvaceous image) I’ll guarantee you her income is a mere pittance to Jennifer’s, Eva’s and Sophia’s.

    Thank for the opportunity to express my views!
    Joe Ortiz.

    P.S. It’s great to see us members of the Latino Family working together to enhance a realistic image, rather than the one distorted many years ago, but still being perpetuated silver screen gatekeepers in a highlyclever and subliminal fashion.

    • July 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM


      Thank you for the most informative and lively discussion. Its feels good to be having this discussions and not to be talking about just one or two talents!

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