John Leguizamo Urges Emmy Voters for Greater Diversity in Open Letter

Actor John Leguizamo advocates for systemic change in Hollywood

by Zain ul Abedin
John Leguizamo Urges Emmy Voters for Greater Diversity in Open Letter
© Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

As Emmy voting kicks off on June 13, celebrated actor and Emmy-winner John Leguizamo takes a stand on diversity in Hollywood, urging the Television Academy to end the historical white-washing of awards shows. In a powerful full-page advertisement in The New York Times, Leguizamo's plea resonates with a call for change that seeks to level the playing field for artists of color across all categories.

"Dear Hollywood, please let this be the year we finally embrace change," Leguizamo writes, pushing for a shift towards equity and broader representation of minority artists in the industry. His message is clear: inclusivity and diversity must move beyond buzzwords to reflect actionable commitments.

Leguizamo highlights the artistic brilliance of non-white artists who, despite facing systemic barriers, have excelled in their fields. "There are hundreds of prolific non-white artists who deserve to be considered for awards this year, not merely for their ethnicity but for their outstanding contributions to the arts," he emphasizes.

Leguizamo's Emmy Journey

The Colombian-American multi-talented artist is not just advocating for change; he's a testament to the resilience and potential of minority artists. Having clinched his first Emmy in 1999 for his performance in the variety or music program for his comedy special Freak and, more recently, a nomination in 2019 for his role in the Netflix limited series When They See Us, Leguizamo knows the impact recognition can have.

Ending his letter, Leguizamo envisages a future where award shows can reflect our diverse society. "Let this be the start of a new era... Let this year be the catalyst that inspires the next generation of minority and underrepresented artists," he advocates, hoping for a time when these artists see themselves on the Emmy stage and feel empowered.

John Leguizamo's call is more than an appeal; it's a necessary demand for the Television Academy to recognize and celebrate the rich tapestry of talent that diverse artists bring to the table, ensuring they no longer remain an underrepresented minority in Hollywood's prestigious accolades.