An actor who starred in the acclaimed film ‘Roma’ may have to miss the Academy Awards because his visa requests keep getting denied.
Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez, who is from Mexico, has tried on three occasions to get a visa to attend the Oscars, but has been refused each time, Variety reports. He also hasn’t been able to attend U.S. screenings of the movie or the Golden Globes, when the movie took home two awards.
‘Roma’ received 10 nominations at the 2019 Academy Awards, and its lead, played by Yalitza Aparicio, made history as the first indigenous woman to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category.
However, her costar Martinez may not be able to be there to cheer her on, despite having a written invitation from producers.
During his first visa attempt, Martinez says he presented the letter from producers, but that those processing his application didn’t want to read it. The second time, he says they tried to process the request as a work visa, but he clarified that he was not there to work – just to attend the show. The third attempt, he says, was “unmemorable,” except for one element.
“It seemed that there was even an anger on the part of the young lady who interviewed me,” he told Mexican magazine Quien. His repeated denials took place in the midst of America’s recovery from the longest shutdown in history, triggered by President Trump’s demand for funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. As it stands, the number of visas being awarded is extremely low — only 500 temporary asylum and work visa requests have been granted out of nearly 9,000 applicants, it was reported last week.
Netflix is reportedly working on Martinez’s behalf to get him a visa in time for the 91st Academy Awards, which will be held on January 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Despite the possibility of not being able to attend a ceremony that recognizes his hard work in the groundbreaking film, Martinez is still remaining positive.
“I have not felt at any moment offended, angry or victimized,” he said. “Nobody has done anything to me, that’s very clear. How many other people does that happen to? How many people have to risk their life to go to the United States, not to be invited to a red carpet, but in order to work?”
He added that he is still “super happy” and sincerely hopes that Aparicio wins her Oscar.