As Oscars night approaches on Sunday, movie fans are being reminded of a persistent diversity problem in the film industry’s most anticipated awards event: Few nominees aren’t white.
Only one person of color was nominated in the acting categories: Cynthia Erivo for her role as Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet.
Some media, however, also alluded to another actor as an exception to the #OscarsSoWhite dilemma: Outlets called Antonio Banderas, nominated for best actor for his role in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, an actor of color.
The thing is, Banderas is from Málaga, Spain, and does not identify as a person of color. There are nonwhite Spanish people, but this isn’t the case for him.
In an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos in January, Banderas was asked about the controversy. He chuckled and said he prefers to take it with a bit of humor.
“I don’t know what I am,” he told Ramos. “When I’ve gone to the U.S., I’ve considered myself Latino, because those are the people I’ve connected with the most.”
Banderas then recalled filling out an official form in the U.S.: When he went to check the box for “white” under race, he was told that was wrong, that he was Hispanic.
“I said, ‘Hispanic isn’t actually a race,’ ” Banderas told Ramos, but he went ahead and checked the Hispanic box. “Great, I’m happy to be Hispanic, Spanish, Latino, and if I’m a person of color, well then I’m a person of color.” Read more