Outrage Erupts After In Memoriam Snubs Latina Star Lupe Ontiveros, However Highlight Hollywood Says What About Griffith, Diller And Hagman

Already facing stiff criticism for host Seth MacFarlane’s off-color material, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is drawing heat once again over Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, this time for an omission in the “In Memoriam” segment.Lupe Ontiveros, a Mexican-American with a career spanning four decades in movies and TV, died in July at age 69, but no mention was made of the actress in the tribute sequence. The snub drew instant outrage on Twitter, particularly from Latino viewers who felt it was a slight to their community, for whom Ontiveros is a beloved figure.

“Academy Awards: you left out a local treasure, actress Lupe Ontiveros who died in July. For many that’s inexcusable,” Ana Garcia, a reporter for NBC’s L.A. affiliate, tweeted.lupe-ontiveros-02



The protest grew louder Tuesday with an open letter addressed to the Academy from Alex Noglas, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. In it, Noglas voiced the frustrations of “thousands of Lupe Ontiveros’ fans [who are] indignant” over the omission.



Nogales suggested that while Ontiveros’ lack of Academy membership may have been the cause, she had in fact applied for membership and was denied.



“We also understand that Lupe Ontiveros applied, with the support of Miguel Sandoval and Edward James Olmos, to be a member of the Academy and that she was denied membership. We want to know the reasons why Lupe Ontiveros was denied membership to the Academy,” the letter reads.


Phyllis Diller

Academy membership is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the In Memoriam segment.  Ontiveros appeared in such films as Selena, As Good as It Gets, Real Women Have Curves and The Goonies.



However, what about Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman and Phyllis Diller? All three were iconic stars on the screen and television, and were omitted as well.  I usually say to readers and fans, that the Oscar telecast can’t possibly include everyone.  However, perhaps cutting Seth MacFarlane’s 22-minute opening by only a couple of minutes could have allowed these stars to be included.



Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  Larry Hagman/TNT, Phyllis Diller and Lupe Ontiveros/AP and Andy Griffith/CBS
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd