John Leguizamo Publishes Open Letter to TV Academy Urging Equity

John Leguizamo published an open letter to the television academy in the New York Times on Sunday, urging his peers to nominate artists of color across all categories ahead of next week’s Emmy voting.

“Please let this be the year we finally embrace change,” Leguizamo wrote in a full-page letter that appeared in the Sunday edition of the paper. “The year we truly find Equity, and see artists of color represented across not just one category, but ALL categories.”

Primetime Emmy voting will begin next week on June 13, and nominations will be announced July 17. The ceremony will take place Sept. 15.

Leguizamo continued, “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! 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.”

Leguizamo is a comedian and actor well-known for voicing Sid the sloth in the Ice Age franchise. He won an Emmy for his variety special John Leguizamo: Freak in 1999.

In the letter, Leguizamo urged his peers to “let this be the start of a new era,” “not continue to white wash our Awards shows” and “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.’”

Leguizamo signed the letter as a “Writer, Actor, Producer, Director & Colombian American who won’t ever let anyone tell him ‘no.’”

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