Honorees included America Ferrera, Jay Hernandez, Isabella Gomez, Ozzie Areu, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Dany Garcia, Ann Sarnoff, and Amy Lippman.

By Rosy Cordero
March 01, 2020 at 07:00 PM EST
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JC Olivera/Getty Images

Latinx Hollywood stepped out on Friday to celebrate community excellence in media at the 2020 NHMC Impact Awards in Los Angeles. Honorees included Gentefied executive producer America Ferrera, One Day at a Time's Isabella Gomez, Magnum P.I.'s Jay Hernandez, studio boss Ozzie Areu, film producer Dany Garcia, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Party of Five executive producer Amy Lippman.

Diego Tinoco represented young Hollywood at the soiree, hosted by Justina Machado and Jacob Vargas, and chatted with EW on the red carpet about On My Block's third season premiering March 11.

"As you can see in the trailer, the core four and more — now including Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) — are going to go on an amazing, wild, bumpy, adventure finding Little Ricky," he said excitedly. "On top of that, they all have their individual storylines like all the other seasons. They're all going through a lot of stuff, so expect the unexpected."

He added about Little Ricky's identity, "Maybe you've already seen him in the trailer? Maybe we've already met him?"

Tinoco also teased what fans can expect from his character Cesar Diaz and his gangster brother Spooky (Julio Macias).

"Let's just say it's going to be even crazier than season 2," he said. "This season, our relationship is going to get a lot more complicated. Let's just say there's a new person entering all of our lives."

As for whether it could be a family member, he added, "It could be..."

Left: Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images
Center: Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images
Right: Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images

Narcos: Mexico stars Jesse Garcia and Alberto Zeni spoke of their admiration for honoree Ozzie Areu, founder and CEO of Areu Bros. Studios — the first Latino-owned and operated film and television studio in the United States.

"Ozzie Areu is such an inspiration, hearing about his journey from being a security guard to owning his own studio is a great example that hard work and determination is what makes dreams come true," Garcia explained. "He is a trailblazer and he's helped me break down negative thoughts and self-imposed limitations."

He added, "It's truly an honor to celebrate all my peers tonight. Throughout my 20 years in this industry, I've had the pleasure to work with many of the talented people here tonight, including Patricia Riggen and America Ferrera in Under the Same Moon in 2007. And while I've never worked with Jay Hernandez, I'll always remember how impactful it was to see him in Crazy Beautiful. 

"I'm so proud of our work as a community, our success is dependent on our support of each other. And as we continue to succeed universally, our talent can no longer be denied."

Zeni shared that events like the Impact Awards help encourage community pride and collaboration among peers. As he networked at the gala while surrounded by some of the biggest movers and shakers in Hollywood, he was full of pride.

"I think we have reached a point as a community where we have finally started believing, not just in ourselves, but also in each other," he said. "Doing so has propelled us to another level of success with the focus of community always at the forefront. We're finally seeing quality content that undeniably connects with audiences even if they're not Latinx, proving that our stories are universal stories. I hope it also helps bridge a gap of understanding that we're all connected as human beings."

The night's celebration wrapped with a powerful acceptance speech from Ferrera, who honored Latino Hollywood's past, present, and future. Ferrera, who recently announced she was leaving the hit NBC series Superstore, gave insight as to why she's taking a step back as an actor and opting to produce new projects.

"We are living in an era brought upon by many, many generations of Latino and Latina actors, producers, writers, directors, who stayed the course and they paved the path," she said. "And sometimes they did it all alone, and sometimes they went completely unseen, unrecognized, uncelebrated. And sometimes, they never got to see their visions and their talents met with opportunities that they deserved.

"I'm thinking specifically of one of my own personal heroes, Lupe Ontiveros — the late and wonderful actress who I always called our Meryl Streep. I was lucky enough to work with her so early on in my career in Real Women Have Curves when I was 17 years old. And I realized then that she got so few opportunities to share the depth of her talent with the world. And when I think about Lupe, what a loss it is for all of us when talent goes untapped."

She added, "So as a producer, bringing opportunities to the Latino community and helping to build a pipeline for our stories to be seen and to be celebrated and for our talent — we have so much talent — to be given the opportunity to shine is what drives me as a producer."

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