ALMA Awards Fete ‘Dexter,’ ‘Filly Brown,’ Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez with Jessica Alba, Rosario
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

National Council of La Raza kudos also salute Rosario Dawson, Carlos Santana

“This is not the white people Emmys,” said comedian Erik Rivera before the live telecast of the NCLR ALMA Awards on Sept. 27. Tasked with warming up the crowd, he reminded the audience to smile and have a good time before the cameras starting rolling for the live broadcast . “We’re Latinos! We want it to look good on television,” he said.

The American Latino Media Awards, held in Pasadena, Calif., celebrate Latinos in entertainment and was broadcast live on MSNBC this year — or as Janet Murguia, CEO of the National Council of La Raza, put it, “more sabor on NBC”… at least for one hour.

Co-hosts Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez kicked off the show with some “Hardball”-style political banter, commenting on a possible government shutdown. “They should put a Latina in charge of the budget,” she said. “If anyone knows how to stretch a dollar, it’s a Latina.” However, Lopez countered, “If anyone knows how to spend a dollar, it’s a Latina.”

The cast of “Dexter” was honored for special achievement in television, with castmembers Aimee Garcia and David Zayas accepting on behalf of the show. Garcia thanked the fans for their support of the show and Zayas praised the show for its “positive image for Latinos for the last eight years.”

Filly Brown” was also honored for special achievement in film, with producer Edward James Olmos and stars Gina Rodriguez and Lou Diamond Phillips accepting on behalf of the film. Phillips took a moment to remember the late Jenni Rivera, whom he called “the heart and soul of the movie.”

Also honored for outstanding commitment to cause and community were Rosario Dawson and Carlos Santana. This may not have been the white people Emmys, but Dawson’s speech ran long and the music tried to play her off twice, but she kept going, saying, “It’s a really good speech, I promise!”

Director Robert Rodriguez sauntered in during a commercial break and made a beeline to Olmos, before greeting his “Machete” star Danny Trejo

Jessica Alba presented the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence to Rodriguezand brought out many of the stars of “the Robert Rodriguez family home movies,” including Dawson, grown-up “Spy Kids'” Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, and “Machete’s” Trejo and Tito Larriva.

“Look at the talent I’ve turned my camera on,” Rodriguez said, marveling at his 20-year career. “It was grim 20 years ago,” he said, “But we have a lot to look forward to. We have our own television network,” he said, referring to his El Rey Network, scheduled to launch at the end of the year. He finished his speech with an encouragement given to him by Ricardo Montalban 20 years ago and said to the young people in the audience, “You are the hope.”

-Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story attributed the first quote to the show’s producer.

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  1. milkes says:

    Do not worry nobody watch the ALMA AWARDS.Only two millions of people watch it. Even the Spanish T.V like Univision doesn’t want anything to do with that.Besides they have alot of white people in there too.You never here does stupid and ignorant remarks on the Spanish media.He is brownie and angry.

  2. Mark says:

    The white people’ Emmys? When is that? Is that in white history month? I am not racist against anyone else and I am getting real sick of my own country allowing this kind of racism against whites. This is ridiculous. We have award shows that award talent of any color or race. The Emmys aren’t for whites. In fact, white people would never be allowed to have an award show for just whites. Would never happen.

    • Ally Quinn says:

      Anti-white racism does exist, but the world screams to us it does not. This article shows just another example of how it’s completely OK to be racist, as long as you’re not white. Non-whites may freely paint white stereotypes and spread racist comments, promote their own exclusive television networks, shows, shops, churches, and communities, all while saying they are under-represented in America. However, American children in many places are required to learn Spanish in public schools; public broadcasting’s kid shows have mixed in Spanish into their shows for over a decade now; Spanish is on almost all product labels in our stores; nearly all service jobs openly write they prefer applicants who know Spanish (often meaning hiring people with a poor command of English); and nearly half my cable channels are either Spanish or Asian. This award show would have you think that America has done nothing to include Latinos, which is laughable. Then to say the “white emmys”….mk.

      Anti-white comments and actions are usually played off as a joke, but it isn’t a joke. Racism is real, and yet if I say any examples of racism against me in real life, I get told “get over it” or am told I’m racist. Just a few examples – after paying at a Latino supermarket I was told by the checker that customers would like it if I shopped at a “white” store like Safeway next time instead of there. I was told to my face by a manager “but we’re all Asian” once, denied an application when they had a hiring sign out (a TJ Maxx, which is a chain-store, not a family-run business). There’s lots of others problems I’ve had, but who cares, right? I’m the one with the problem, not the people who said those things to me, right? If whites act like that they are racist; when non-whites act like that, it’s just them strengthening their communities, or being empowered, and they’ve been given the license to do so by popular culture in America and our politicians.

      Gil’s response to Mark’s comment is pretty much status-quo. God forbid anyone speak of racism against whites – how racist!

    • Gil Rodriguez says:

      You my friend need to look in the mirror real good. “I’m not a racist?”, you are 100% racist. You really need to check yourself homeboy.

  3. Kelly says:

    What an incredibly RACIST comment!
    The Entertainment Industry has always been a venue where people with legitimate talent can always stand out and be recognized. Perhaps less complaining and more basic talent would resolve these concerns…

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