Ahead of the 78th annual Golden Globe awards, it came to light that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes for the awards, has no Black voting members. While hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as well as late-night comedians lambasted the HFPA over its lack of Black inclusion, Castro took the HFPA to task for underrepresenting artwork in film and television done by the Latino community in 2020.
"Latinos are almost completely missing at the @goldenglobes—it’s unsurprising and unacceptable," he tweeted on the day of the show. "The film industry must address the pernicious lack of opportunity and representation of Latino Americans. The stories that Hollywood tells affect how entire communities are perceived."
He added in a follow-up tweet: "I use the word "pernicious" because this status quo is toxic, harmful and dangerous to Latinos in American society."
While Black artists took center stage as presenters at the 2021 Golden Globes, only three Latinos were nominated for the prestigious award. Anya Taylor-Joy, who earned a Golden Globe for best actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television for her role in "The Queen’s Gambit," is of Argentine-British and American descent. She was also nominated for her role in the movie "Emma."
Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is Puerto Rican, was nominated for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for his starring role in the film release of his revered 2016 Broadway musical "Hamilton." Finally, Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante’s horror film, "La Llorona," was nominated for best foreign-language film. The latter duo did not win in their categories, losing out to "Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm" and "Minari" respectively.
The problem with Latino inclusion is even more widespread than the 2021 Golden Globes. Newsweek reports that a 2019 study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative surveyed 1,200 popular films over the previous 12 years and found that Latinos made up only 4.5% of speaking or named roles with only 3% of films featuring Latino leads or co-leads at all. Meanwhile, the Latino community accounts for only 4% of directors and 3% of producers on top-grossing films.
Castro, who recently chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, previously discussed the importance of Latino representation in TV and film in a guest column for Variety.
"The entertainment industry is the main narrative-creating and image-defining institution of American society. Unfortunately, Latinos are often depicted as stereotypes, if we’re represented at all," he wrote in August.
He adds: "Even when positive stories do get told, they are often overlooked by the awards shows that could encourage more production. Let’s not forget: Generations of Latino actors have felt forced to change their name, even their appearance, to be included in roles, forfeiting their heritage and robbing our community of role models and dreams of being seen on-screen."