Academy Backtracks After Uproar, Adds Lupe Ontiveros to ‘In Memoriam’ Gallery

Published February 27, 2013

| Fox News Latino

Lupe Ontiveros legacy will now have a place in Oscar history after a backlash from Latino community leaders who felt the “Selena” actress was snubbed from the Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences apparently backtracked from its decision not to include the actress in its “In Memoriam” gallery of notable artists who passed away last year.

Ontiveros, who died last July, was not part of the tribute during the awards show, but she will now be among 117 people included in the Academy’s online gallery.

“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,” a rep for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences told Fox News Latino.

The news was hailed by Latino leaders who had been demanding that she be included in the gallery.

"Ontiveros will rest there surrounded and acknowledged by her peers," said Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.

The change comes after the foundation had sent a letter to the Academy requesting that Oliveros be included in the online gallery.

Ontiveros had a 35-year career in Hollywood, including roles in such movies as "As Good As It Gets," "Real Women Have Curves" and "The Goonies.”

Ontiveros was not the only prominent name left out of the Academy’s tribute – Andy Griffith nor Phyllis Diller were not mentioned either. Griffith and Diller were also added to the online gallery.  

Though the controversy finally led to Ontiveros being added to the In Memoriam gallery, her family members said it’s too little, too late.

“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,” read the statement on Tuesday from her son, Elias P. Ontiveros, on behalf of the Ontiveros family.

“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.”

Throughout her career, Ontiveros had been an advocate for breaking Latino stereotypes in Hollywood.

In 2009, Ontiveros told CNN she was upset that she was continually being cast as a housekeeper.

"It's upsetting to any culture when that is the only projection you have of that culture," Ontiveros said. "You're pigeonholed, stereotyped. That means we don't like you. We forget that this country was founded by immigrants."

The actress, born Guadalupe Moreno in Texas, once estimated she had played a maid more than 300 times. 

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http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2013/02/27/academy-backtracks-after-uproar-adds-lupe-ontiveros-to-in-memoriam-gallery/