Oscars: Lupe Ontiveros 'In Memoriam' Snub Draws Criticism From Latino Group

Lupe Ontiveros - P 2012
Getty Images

Lupe Ontiveros - P 2012

An open letter from the National Hispanic Media Coalition also demands to know why the overlooked actress was denied Academy membership.

Already facing stiff criticism for host Seth MacFarlane's off-color material, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is drawing heat once again over Sunday's Oscars ceremony, this time for an omission in the "In Memoriam" segment.

Lupe Ontiveros, a Mexican-American with a career spanning four decades in movies and TV, died in July at age 69, but no mention was made of the actress in the tribute sequence. The snub drew instant outrage on Twitter, particularly from Latino viewers who felt it was a slight to their community, for whom Ontiveros is a beloved figure.

STORY: Mexican-American Actress Lupe Ontiveros Dies at 69 

“Academy Awards: you left out a local treasure, actress Lupe Ontiveros who died in July. For many that's inexcusable,” Ana Garcia, a reporter for NBC's L.A. affiliate, tweeted.

The protest grew louder Tuesday with an open letter addressed to the Academy from Alex Noglas, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. In it, Noglas voiced the frustrations of "thousands of Lupe Ontiveros' fans [who are] indignant" over the omission.

Nogales suggested that while Ontiveros' lack of Academy membership may have been the cause, she had in fact applied for membership and was denied. 

"We also understand that Lupe Ontiveros applied, with the support of Miguel Sandoval and Edward James Olmos, to be a member of the Academy and that she was denied membership. We want to know the reasons why Lupe Ontiveros was denied membership to the Academy," the letter reads.

Academy membership is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the In Memoriam segment. 

Ontiveros appeared in such films as Selena, As Good as It Gets, Real Women Have Curves and The Goonies.