By Arturo R. García
With apologies to fans of Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, et al., by far the most pleasant surprise of this week’s Academy Awards nominee announcements was seeing Demián Bichir get nominated for Best Actor–alongside “conventional” choices like George Clooney and Brad Pitt–for his role as an undocumented single father in A Better Life.
As Colorlines noted, Bichir’s nomination was one of several nods for Latinos in this year’s Oscar race: cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, also from Mexico, was nominated for Best Cinematography for Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life; Bérénice Bejo, a native of Argentina, earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn in the The Artist; Brazilian Sérgio Mendes was nominated for Best Song for “Real in Rio,” his collaboration with Siedah Garrett, of “Man In The Mirror” fame, from the animated film Rio.
But a look at some relevant figures further illustrates how painfully rare Bichir’s accomplishment is.
2: The number of Mexican-born nominees for Best Actor, with Bichir joining Anthony Quinn, who was nominated on two separate occasions, for Wild Is The Wind (1957) and Zorba The Greek (1964).
2: The number of white actors nominated for this category for playing Latino characters (Marlon Brando, 1952, Viva Zapata! and Spencer Tracy, 1958, The Old Man and the Sea).
47: The number of years between Quinn’s nomination for Zorba and Bichir’s nomination.
61: The number of years since a Latino actor born outside of Mexico and the United States was nominated for Best Actor; José Ferrer (born in Puerto Rico in 1912, before it became a U.S. territory) earned the honor in 1950 for Cyrano De Bergerac.
1: The number of:
- Latino actors (going into this year’s ceremony) to win Best Actor, with Ferrer taking the Oscar home.
- Latino actors born in the U.S. to be nominated for the category (Edward James Olmos, 1988, Stand and Deliver.)
- Latinas in Oscars history to win the Best Actress award (Rita Moreno, 1961, West Side Story.)
- Mexican-born actresses ever nominated in that category (Salma Hayek, 2002, Frida.)
0: The number of Latina actresses born in the U.S. to be nominated for Best Actress.
$1,759,252: Total domestic gross for A Better Life, per Box Office Mojo.
$75,524,658: Total domestic gross (as of Jan. 24) for Moneyball, starring Bichir’s fellow nominee Brad Pitt.
11,000,000: The total number of undocumented workers in the United States, as quoted by Bichir in a statement to US Weekly, as he dedicated his nomination to them.
6,650,000: Estimated number of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as of 2009, according to the Department of Homeland Security (PDF).
25-to-1: Current odds of Bechir winning the Oscar, according to Vegas Insider.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- aboynamedart on Undo Process: The Racialicious Review For Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor
- croquet on The Walking Dead Recap: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- croquet on Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- gogobooty on Open Thread: Scandal S03 E08: ‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’
- jen* on The Scandal Mid-Season Finale Prediction Thread
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- On Disability and Cartographies of Difference
- A Muslimah’s Guide to Rocking the World
- Quoted: Dr. David Leonard Pens Open Letter to Marissa Alexander
- The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season
- Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- The Walking Dead Recap: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.7 – “Dead Weight”
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black celebrities comedy diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity interracial relationships Kerry Washington latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion Scandal sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes True Blood tv Uncategorized white youtube