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Kudos salute diversity, Hayek, Landau, 'South Park' creators awarded

By SUSANNE AULT, October 15, 1999
In light of recent criticism of the lack of ethnic minorities in the media, Tuesday night's seventh annual Diversity Awards seemed out of synch with Hollywood's current atmosphere.

"This coming year will be a turning point for the Multicultural Motion Picture Assn.," said MMPA prexy and Diversity Awards founder Jarvee Hutcherson at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. "The industry is beginning to see that we are all about diverse cultures and ideas."

Salma Hayek was one entertainment professional the MMPA singled out as a diversity success story. But Hayek's high-profile film status hasn't saved her from hearing herself described as "weird, strange and funny-sounding." Hayek felt honored by the Diversity Awards, which she said annually recognizes "unique and creative (individuals)."

"South Park" co-creator and award recipient Trey Parker was also grateful for MMPA's reinforcement of his and partner Matt Stone's regular incorporation of different cultures and ideas into their animation. He added "with a show like 'South Park,' you're either getting awards or getting sued ... This week we're getting both."

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Martin Landau applauded the MMPA for "providing scholarships to people that in this business are often unwelcome." But Landau admitted to Daily Variety, "This business doesn't really put out a welcome mat for anybody."