Opinion: The Oscars celebrate talent and achievement, not ethnicity

An Oscars statue from the 2016 awards.
(Danny Moloshok / Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

To the editor: Dennis Romero brushes aside two consecutive Oscar wins by the Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar in 2014 and the fact that Lin-Manuel Miranda rules Broadway to insist there’s a “Latino gap” in Hollywood. This kind of backward thinking is partly responsible for the ethnic divisions in our country. (“The Oscars are less white, but where are Latinos?” Opinion, Jan. 24)

It’s time to erase the hyphens and remember that America is a country of immigrants who came here with the goal of becoming Americans. We need to restore that mindset of previous generation and realize that we are as good as any other American, valued as much as any other American, and we can then celebrate our individuality and our differences in the context of the greater whole. 

Those of us blessed with special artistic abilities should be able to compete based upon the level of inspiration and inventiveness that each of has. We need to develop the mindset that what’s important is ingenuity, brilliance and excellence. 

Successful works of art connect with the humanity in any person. Stories of individuals overcoming adversity can be found among an infinitely diverse group of people. In the context of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has always embraced excellence wherever it has been found, making it possible for new talent to emerge.


Don’t listen to those who say you are disadvantaged if you belong to a certain group. We’re all waiting for talented people to make the world a better place, so get to it!

William Goldstein, Los Angeles

The writer, a longtime academy member, has been a recording artist for Motown and CBS Masterworks and has composed music for films and the concert hall.

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