2022 Latinx Oscar Moments That Made History

Rachel Zegler, Ariana Debose, Carolina Gaitan, Mauro Castillo.

Last night millions of people tuned in to watch the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony. In recent years the awards have faced serious and widespread criticism for their constant lack of diversity amongst the nominees.

Their dwindling audience numbers changed this year, but even with the increase this was the second least-watched year for the award show. Regardless, it’s nice to see an increase in nominations for people of color at a time when it’s people of color keeping the movie industry afloat. Latinos had a decent amount of nominations this year for movies including West Side Story, Encanto, and CODA and with nominees Ariana Debose, Eugenio Derbez, and Lin Manuel Miranda, among others.

Despite the low ratings, the 2022 Oscars produced some Latinx moments that have everyone talking.

The Encanto Live Performance of We Don't Talk About Bruno

This moment inspired all kinds of different reactions. When the performance began it seemed like a normal performance of the beloved chart-topping hit song with the original recording cast. Opening with Carolina Gaitan and Mauro Castillo, the performance got off to an excellent start. The rest of the cast trickled in including Stephanie Beatriz, Adassa, and Diane Guerrero, and all seemed well up until that point.

Then, the song took a sudden hard right and took us on a journey we weren’t expecting. Meghan the Stallion, Becky G, and Luis Fonsi took over the performance, and this is where most of the critique and Twitter hot-takes come in. People felt upset that the moment had been taken from the cast of the movie and “ruined” the much-awaited live performance of the popular song.

Watch for yourself. It’s uhhh, interesting…

2022 Oscars Live 'We Don't Talk About Bruno' Performancewww.youtube.com

Rachel Zegler Gets Invited 6 Days Before The Event After Fan Outrage

Fans were furious to find out that Rachel Zegler, who plays Maria in Spielberg’s West Side Story, had not been invited to the ceremony. Many naturally wondered how it was even possible not to invite the star of a movie that inspired 7 nominations. The slight came to light when a fan asked Zegler what she was wearing to the Oscars, to which she responded: “I’m not invited so sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel”

After the academy received a fair amount of backlash from an incensed audience, Zegler received an invitation and was asked to present an award just 6 days before the ceremony. Some noted that her not being invited might be due to scheduling conflicts, as she is currently filming Disney’s remake of Snow White in the U.K, but, Zegler previously expressed her desire to attend and said: “she had tried everything.”

Zegler, in true Latina form, also didn’t miss the opportunity to drop some shade during her presentation. In response to Jacob Elordi’s comment about never imagining being at the Oscars, she quipped, “6 days ago I never thought that I would be here.”

Ariana DeBose becomes the first Afro-Latina, openly queer Oscar Winner

Ariana DeBose who played Anita in the musical West Side Story, made history as she became the first Afro-Latina openly queer woman to win this award. Her Oscar for best-supporting actress was much deserved as her performance as Anita has been described as both impactful and breathtaking.

As DeBose accepted her award, she left us with a powerful message on why representation matters, she said in her acceptance speech "Lastly, imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color and Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art, and that's what I believe we're here to celebrate," she said. "So to anyone who has ever questioned your identity -- ever, ever, ever -- or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us."

Encanto Wins Best Animated Feature Film

The movie that had us all singing and dancing in our living rooms, won the Oscar for best-animated feature film. For the Latinx community the significance of this film goes well beyond just being entertaining, but being a much-needed accurate representation of Latino families and the complicated dynamics of Latino families. It touched on subjects like immigration, fleeing homelands due to violence, generational trauma, and the pressures of being a Latina daughter. For that and many more reasons this moment will go down in history as a win for Latinos.

Lupita Nyong'o's reaction to the Will Smith/Chris Rock slapping incident represented all of us.

There are plenty of hot takes on the incident itself, so we’ll bow out of adding yet another, however, Lupita Nyong’o’s reaction has been flooding our timeline all day long, and we just have to say: Yeah Lupita, we had the exact same reaction.

Honorable mention: Dos Orugitas by Sebastian Yatra

Another live performance that was a display of Latino excellence was Dos Orugitas by Sebastian Yatra; the tear jerking song that plays during one of the saddest parts of the Encanto movie. The song and Yatra’s performance were simply gorgeous. No mash-ups needed.

Sebastián Yatra - Dos Oruguitas (Live from "The 94th Academy Awards")www.youtube.com

A Latina woman in full color, set against a background showcasing a collection of wedding dresses, evoking a sense of the past.

In the United States, societal attitudes toward marriage are evolving, evidenced by a significant decrease in marriage rates – dropping from a robust 76.5% in 1970 to a modest 31% today – this trend spans various communities, including the Latino community, which is actively challenging conventional norms, reshaping roles, and forging new paths in their conceptions of love and family.

Keep ReadingShow less
a Latina woman skillfully juggling the demands of family and work life.

Despite Latinas in the U.S. leading the charge as the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in 2023 and despite the rise of Bachelor’s Degree attainment among them, Latinas continue to feel the pressure of gender role expectations often imposed within Latino culture. A recent Pew Research Center study has shed light on just how much pressure Latinas in America are under.

Keep ReadingShow less