In our story published Monday, February 25, Oscar Weekend Latino Highlights and Lowlights, we noted that the late Lupe Ontiveros, who in her 35-year career made lasting impressions in such movies as "Selena," "Real Women Have Curves", "El Norte", "Goonies" and "Something's Gotta Give", was left out of the Oscar telecast's 'In Memoriam' reel.
Reaction was swift in digital and social media, with many people expressing their outrage and disappointment that the actress and activist was not given the respect she deserved as a movie industry notable.
The following statement was published on our partner website Se Fija:
The Ontiveros Family's Public Statement on 85th Annual Academy Awards
"In response to the inquiries we have received from several news outlets, we would like to express our disappointment about the unfortunate omission of our wife and mother Lupe Ontiveros from the 85th Annual Academy Awards' "In Memoriam" tribute. We believe the Academy and the show's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron made a poor decision in choosing not to acknowledge the passing of our mother in this tribute which traditionally has become an important part of the Academy Awards. We understand that she is only one of many noteworthy actors and industry veterans who passed away in 2012 that were not included in the segment, but we believe that her contributions and dedication of nearly forty years to the film industry were worthy of this honor.
"As a U.S.-born actress and member of the Latino community here in the United States, she was loved and respected by many for her achievements on screen. We believe the Academy's glaring omission displayed an indifference to the Latino community and made a statement about the lack of regard for Latino talent in film. It was also a missed opportunity by the Academy to reach out to the millions of Latinos movie fans, who go to the movies at a higher rate than any other group in the U.S."
Elias P. Ontiveros (youngest son of Lupe Ontiveros)
On behalf of the Ontiveros Family
And finally, in a statement by the Academy: "Lupe Ontiveros is among the many worthy artists we were unfortunately not able to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year's Oscar show. She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com."
I checked the In Memoriam gallery on Monday morning after the Oscars. There were 114 images, many with photos of the departed, some with one or two names and their occupation. Lupe Ontiveros was not among the 114. There are now 115 images. Lupe is between actor George Murdock and director Nagisa Ishima.