It was a night filled with Hispanic accents, gushing pride and a gold statue known in some circles as el Oscar.
The presence of so many Hispanic performers — and winners — at Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards not only lit up the stage in Hollywood but sent a jolt of delight and calls to action across social media platforms and in bilingual households across the Americas.
Mexican actors Eugenio Derbez and Eiza González served as presenters at the Oscars. And that was just part of a major Hollywood effort to highlight the presence of Hispanic figures at the ceremony.
Guillermo del Toro won for best director for the movie “The Shape of Water” and is the third Mexican to obtain el Oscar after Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu; while Chile won the award for the best foreign film with “Una mujer fantástica,” a recognition that prompted calls for Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to support a gender identity law in that South American nation.
Shouts of “Viva Mexico” were heard several times and one of the ones who shouted in Spanish was the actor Anthony González, who gives voice to the main character of the movie “Coco,” which won the best song award with “Remember Me.” That movie is inspired by Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” tradition.
The song was performed live by Gael García Bernal, Natalia Lafourcade and Miguel.
Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno also contributed to the Latino presence, along with Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose father is Puerto Rican and mother is Mexican; actress Lupita Nyong’o, whose father is from Kenya and mother from Mexico; and the Mexican actress Salma Hayek.
On social media networks, Latino users celebrated both the awards and the unprecedented Hispanic participation.
Univision’s Despierta América program posted these words in Spanish on Twitter: “We are proud of our Hispanic brothers for making history last night at the #Oscar awards” and published a photo that includes Eiza González, Guillermo del Toro and Eugenio Derbez.
The magazine Hola USA pointed out that “this award ceremony has been one of the most significant for Hispanics. #GuillermodelToro represents Mexico with his film #TheShapeofWater, and this year is the winner as Best Director, in addition to taking the statue for Best Film.”
“Ecstatic to see so many successful Hispanics present at the Oscar Awards. Latinos worthy of recognition were represented for so much and such great TALENT!!,” posted a Twitter user from Guatemala identified as Adri LoVa.
The Chileans also celebrated their first Oscar for “Una mujer fantástica,” by Sebastián Lelio. The film deals with the relationship between a transgender woman and an older man and the mistreatment she is subjected to by the relatives of her partner when he dies. The film’s star is transgender actress Daniela Vega.
“Tonight Chilean cinema reached the stars... a big hug, with pride and emotion, to the team of # UnaMujerFantástica, the best foreign film in the #Oscars 2018,” Chilean President Piñera posted on his Twitter account.
The user Jorge García posted: “Grand Prize for Chile #UnaMujerFantastica #UnaMujerFantastica best foreign film!! Congratulations to the cast and directors etc #PremiosOscar # Oscars2018 #PremiosCHV.”
But the celebration also served as an opportunity to demand that Piñera support a gender identity law that was approved in January in the Chamber of Deputies and is now making its way through the Senate.
“Piñera celebrates triumph #UnaMujerFantastica but before called to reject draft gender identity law that if were law @danivega would come to his country with the name that identifies him. The best gift for @danivega is to give urgency to the proposed law!” posted Hugo Gutiérrez on Twitter.
Follow Sonia Osorio on Twitter: @soniaosoriog.