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
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."