The Paley Center Honors Hispanic Achievements in TV

Emily Maas Aslanian
Paley Center, Emilio Estefan, Maureen J. Reidy (CEO; Paley Center for Media) and Gloria Estefan
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix

On Wednesday night The Paley Center for Media held a Tribute to Hispanic Achievements in Television at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan. TV Guide Magazine was a co-chair sponsor of the event.

It was a star-studded event that featured Gloria and Emilio Estefan, America Ferrera (Superstore), Jimmy Smits (24: Legacy), Luis Guzman (Code Black), Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time) and Carlos Valdes (The Flash).

Celebrating Hispanic culture on television, dating back to the ’50s with I Love Lucy star and television pioneer Desi Arnaz, the Paley Center officially launched the Hispanic Collection within the Paley Archive, the largest publicly accessible archive of TV programming in the nation. “The money raised for tonight has allowed us to create and launch the Hispanic collection, which is now a part of the Paley Archive, and right now we’re coming in around 550 programs and growing,’ said Maureen J. Reidy, Paley’s president & CEO (pictured above with the Estefans). "The energy and enthusiasm for this night is like nothing we’ve seen before."

The highlight of the night was a special tribute to Desi Arnaz by his daughter Lucie, which featured clips of him reading Little Red Riding Hood in Spanish, a salute to him on The Ed Sullivan Show and a young Lucie serenading him on The Mike Douglas Show.

“People know Desi Arnaz of course as one who broke barriers in front of the camera, but what so many don’t know is how he was a pioneer behind the camera,” Reidy said. “He was the first ever Latino to own his own production company, and also revolutionize the TV industry by creating the 3-camera model [for a live audience].”

Lucie was thrilled to be there to pay tribute to her father. "To be there for my dad, to be able to get up and say the words that I think he would want me to tell these people about why I think what he did worked, and why I thought he was special, that’s nice," she said. "It’s nice to be asked to say that in front of a lot of people, especially at the Paley Center."

Reidy referred to the evening as "historic" and "one of those events people talk about for years."

Carlos Valdes

Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix

The Flash's Cisco cleans up nice!

Added Valdes, who play tech wiz Cisco on The Flash: “This is a night where we get to celebrate, not just the achievements that Latinos have made in the realm of television, but also our forward movement, where we’re going from here and how we’re actively and accurately reflecting Latino influence in our society, and I think that’s incredibly important.”

The event was so successful that The Paley Center also announced a followup night showcasing Hispanic Achievements in Television that will take place in Beverly Hills, California on October 24.