Pedro Pascal and Jenna Ortega on Wednesday joined a short list of Latinos to be Emmy Award nominee for leading roles.
Pascal was nominated for best lead actor in a drama for his role as Joel Miller, the morally gray lead in HBO’s «The Last of Us.» Pascal is the second Latino nominee in the category, after Jimmy Smits, who was nominated five consecutive times for his role as Detective Bobby Simone on ABC’s «NYPD Blue» from 1995 to 1999.
Ortega was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Wednesday Addams, the title character on Netflix’s hit show «Wednesday.» She is the third Latina to be nominated in the leading actress category, following Rita Moreno in 1983 for the ABC sitcom «9 to 5» and América Ferrera in 2007 and 2008 for ABC’s «Ugly Betty.» Ferrera won in 2007.
Pascal was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and Outstanding Narrator on CNN’s “Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World.”
Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican descent, was also nominated for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Harper in HBO’s thriller «The White Lotus.»
While Diego Luna did not receive a best lead actor nomination for his role in the «Star Wars» franchise as the titular character of «Andor,» the series earned several nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series.
Selena Gomez, of Mexican descent, was also nominated for her leading role as Mabel on Hulu’s «Only Murders in the Building,» the second time she went without a nomination, although the show was nominated for best comedy series. .
Advances for the representation of Latino actors and actresses come as samba tv recently published a report detailing that diversity in casting attracts non-white TV and movie viewers.
As the US becomes increasingly diverse, Samba TV highlighted that the majority of film and television leads are white, with less than half featuring an Asian or Latino lead. Despite representing about 20% of the total US population, and now surpassing California’s non-Hispanic white population, Latino actors only make up 10% of the acting industry, Samba found.