John Leguizamo Uses Full-Page New York Times Ad to Urge Emmy Voters to Make Non-White Choices

The Sunday New York Times include a full-page ad from actor John Leguizamo. He used the space to present an open letter aimed at Ammy voters, asking them to choose and promote Emmy candidates of color. Leguizamo shared the letter in a tweet and wrote, “America is better when it is inclusive. It is more profitable. It is more creative! Let’s not give up. I’m still woke! Are you?”

Leguizamo’s tweet began, “I know everyone is exhausted about inclusion, but not us who are not included. So that’s why I took this ad out in the NYTimes. White peoples are only 58.9% of the population, but overrepresented in top positions across the board. They are the decisionmakers in tech, banking, corporations, medicine and streamers and Hollywood!”

The actor tagged several prominent stars, including Whoopi Goldberg, Naomi Watts, Shaquille O’Neal, Missy Elliot and others.

In a second tweet, Leguizamo tagged politicians including Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Rashida Jones, writing, “I had to speak out! And I will continue to until we have parity!”

“Please let this be the year we finally embrace change,” Leguizamo’s actual letter began. “The year we truly find Equity, and see artists of color represented across not just one category, but ALL categories.”

“I know you’re tired of hearing words like ‘inclusivity’ and ‘diversity’ – treading water while you try to understand how to put actions behind these sentiments. Look no further! It’s simple!” he continued.

“There are hundreds of prolific non-white artists who deserve to be considered for Awards this year, not because they are simply… Black, Brown, Indigenous or Asian but because they are truly great… exceptional artists who have achieved that greatness with a foot on their neck for far too long.”

“Let this be a start of a new era,” he added. “Let us not continue to white wash our Awards shows. Instead let this year be the catalyst that inspires the Next Generation of minority and underrepresented artists… a generation who might finally see a reflection of themselves on that stage and think, ‘If they can, maybe I can too…'” the letter concluded.

Voting for the Emmys begins this week on Thursday, June 13. Members of the Academy vote within their peer group (directors for directors, actors for actors and so on), while the entire group votes in the programming categories, such as Best Comedy.

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