Despite the fact that Latino actors and actresses were not nominated for any awards this year, many Latinos were on the stage at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night to accept notable awards and deliver memorable performances and powerful messages.
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” was the highlight of the night, winning a total of four awards including best director and best picture. However, it is important to note that Hispanic-American actors and directors remain the most underrepresented group in the Oscars’$2 90-year history.
Only two Hispanic-American actresses and three Hispanic-American actors have ever won an Oscar.
Here’s a look at some notable moments from Sunday night’s show:
Del Toro became the third Mexican director to win best director. Alfonso Cuarón won for “Gravity” in 2014 and Alejandro González Iñárritu won for “Birdman” in 2015 and “The Revenant” in 2016.
Iñárritu became the first Latino to win the Special Achievement Academy Award for “Flesh and Sand.”
Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” was named best foreign language film.
“Coco” – a film with a predominantly Latino cast that celebrates Mexican traditions – won an Oscar for best animated feature. Its producers gave thanks to Mexico, where the story takes place. The film stars Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Alanna Ubach and others.
“Remember Me,” from “Coco” also won in the best original song category.
Daniela Vega, the star of “A Fantastic Woman,” became the first openly transgender woman to present an award at the ceremony.
Lin-Manuel Miranda called on viewers of the award ceremony to keep Puerto Rico in the conversation after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year.
Rita Moreno was one of the big stars of the night as she took the stage to present an award in the same dress she wore to the 1962 Oscars, where she won best supporting actress for her role in “West Side Story.”
Oscar Isaac, the Guatemalan-American actor who starred in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Gina Rodriguez, the star of the TV show “Jane the Virgin” and Mexican actor and producer Eugenio Derbez were among the presenters.
Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani expressed their support for “Dreamers” – recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, whose fate currently hangs in the balance – while presenting the Oscar for best production design.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” Nyong’o said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.”
“To all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you,” Nanjiani said.
Nyong’o, a best supporting actress Oscar winner, is Kenyan-Mexican and Nanjiani is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian.
Miguel, Natalia LaFourcade and Gael García Bernal performed “Remember Me” from “Coco.”
José Andrés, a Spanish-American chef, received a standing ovation as he held a folded-up Puerto Rican flag to his chest while appearing on stage with a group of activists during Common and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up for Something.”
Dolores Huerta, a longtime labor activist, was also among the 10 activists who took the stage during the performance.
Del Toro sent a message of support and encouragement to immigrants while delivering a powerful acceptance speech for best picture.
“I am an immigrant,” he said. “In the last 25 years, I’ve been living in a country all of our own.
“I think the greatest thing that our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that, when the world tells us to make it deeper.”