Jenna Ortega and Pedro Pascal Join the Still-Too-Short List of Latino Nominees at the 2023 Emmys

a collage featuring camila morrone, aubrey plaza, jenna ortega and pedro pascal

Brace yourselves, TV enthusiasts — the 2023 Emmy nominations have dropped, and it's a bittersweet moment. After a hiatus of almost two decades, the Television Academy has finally decided to recognize the power-packed performances of Latino actors in lead acting categories. You might ask, why bittersweet? Well, we're celebrating because it's about time, but also wondering, why did it take so long? The anticipation is building up for the awards ceremony set to air on September 18, 2023. This year, the Emmy spotlight is on two particular stars — Jenna Ortega and Pedro Pascal. Let's delve into why these nominations are making history.

Jenna Ortega, who's been making waves in the hit show "Wednesday,” will be the first Latina to land a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series since America Ferrera's nod for "Ugly Betty" back in 2007. Yes, that long ago! And before America, it was the iconic Rita Moreno for "9 to 5" in '83. "Wednesday" itself is racking up accolades with a whopping 13 Emmy nominations.

Meanwhile, Pedro Pascal is smashing through as the first Latino lead actor nominee since Jimmy Smits for "NYPD Blue" in 1999, according to Rolling Stone. Took them long enough, don't you think?

Still, we need to call out the elephant in the room. The fact remains that Latino representation is still way too low. Just last year, only Oscar Isaac and Colman Domingo made the Emmys cut for "Scenes from a Marriage" and "Euphoria," respectively.

So, who are the Latinos stealing the limelight this year? Let's go through the list:

Jenna Ortega

Nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for "Wednesday," the show that's taken the television world by storm. It's earned Ortega her first-ever nods at the Golden Globes and now the Emmys.

Pedro Pascal

Garnering his first big nomination as Best Actor in a Drama Series for his gripping performance in "The Last of Us."

Camila Morrone

Earning her place as Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for "Daisy Jones and the Six,” with her memorable character Camila Alvarez.

Aubrey Plaza

Nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series for her stellar performance in "White Lotus." Plaza's unique humor, wit, and activism have made her a fan favorite.

We know you've heard this a million times, but it bears repeating — representation in media, especially in award shows like the Emmys, is absolutely critical. It's not just about diversity for diversity's sake. It's about ensuring authenticity, inclusivity, and equality. Representation helps debunk stereotypes, dismantle prejudices, and fosters a more comprehensive understanding of different cultures and experiences.

For the Latino community, seeing actors who look like them, share their heritage, and tell their stories with authenticity can be incredibly empowering. It's about more than just being seen — it's about having their experiences validated and affirmed.

Given that Latinos make up a significant chunk of the U.S. population, their underrepresentation in the media has been a glaring oversight. By highlighting Latino talent, award shows like the Emmys have the power to help rectify this disparity, paving the way for more diverse storytelling and inspiring future generations of Latino artists.

In light of all this, it's clear why the Emmy nominations for Jenna Ortega and Pedro Pascal — among other talented Latino artists — are not just achievements, but significant milestones. Each nomination, each award, and each moment on that stage is a step forward in the quest for equity and visibility in media. But let's remember; we've still got a long way to go. The number of Latino nominees at the Emmys is still far from proportional. However, as we witness this moment of change, we look forward to the day when diversity in nomination lists is the norm, not the exception.

Let's not just stop at hearing this a million times — let's aim to see it reflected a million times over on our screens. Here's to a future where every story is told, every heritage celebrated, and every talent recognized. Now, isn't that an Emmys night to truly look forward to?

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