(PNS reporting from BEVERLY HILLS) Actress Jennifer Lopez was honored at the Espiritu Awards last night, netting the coveted Best Non-Mexican Actress Who Plays A Mexican In Every Role Award.
“I’m just so grateful to all of you who see in me what every casting agent in Hollywood sees: a Mexican. Which is actually better than being a real Mexican, because then I can actually get work,” she told a gleeful crowd as she accepted her award.
“If it weren’t for Mexicans, I would not have the career I do today, thank you, thank you!”
The Espiritu Awards are organized every year by Espiritu USA, the biggest Hispanic media organization in the country. The awards consistently go to a small group of Latino Hollywood talent, generally swapping out between presenters and awardees every year.
Longtime Hollywood producer Nicht Braun was also honored with the Espiritu Lifetime Achievement Award.
Braun has been casting non-Mexicans for Mexican roles in Hollywood longer than anyone in the business, originally using swarthy actors of Italian or Greek descent, before moving on to brown-haired whites, and finally just settling on Antonio Banderas.
“In Los Angeles, it’s so hard to find Mexicans, that I’ve had to be really innovative over the years just to portray authentic Mexican American life.” he told the audience, which responded with a standing ovation. “Without talented non-Mexican Puerto Ricans like Jennifer Lopez, or Cubans like Eva Mendes, there’s no way we could authentically portray the Mexican American experience in cinema.”
Other award winners at Espiritu included the Best Non-Mexican Actor Who Plays A Mexican In Every Role award, which went to Antonio Banderas last year but went to Esai Morales this year. Best Director Who Replaces Any Mexican Actor or Actress With A White Actor award, which went to Ben Affleck, and Best Movie Which Casts Latinos Only As Criminals Or The Help, which went to INSERT MOVIE NAME HERE.
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