“A movie like Roma is very important for our community, for the Latino community,” actress and activist Eva Longoria said Sunday night at the National Domestic Workers Alliance Awards Night Watch Party at The Jane Club in Los Angeles. “We get villainized every day by this administration, by this country, and to see a story humanize the role that a domestic worker has – the impact she has, the way she is needed not only by the children but by by the mother in this film – it’s important for us to see that storytelling in the media.”
I’d asked her what advice she has for newcomer Yalitza Aparicio (who plays Cleo in the film), whose debut role has landed her a deluge of accolades and catapulted her directly into the spotlight. “I think she’s been handling it beautifully and I think she has an amazing mentor in Alfonso [Cuarón],” gushed Longoria, who stunned in an angelic white Yves Saint Laurent suit.
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In partnership with Participant Media, the NDWA held the fête in celebration of the acclaimed Netflix film that sheds light on the true impact of domestic workers. Co-hosted by Longoria, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Rashida Jones, and Olga Segura, the room was filled with not only Hollywood players, but also dozens of domestic workers, who spent the evening celebrating and banding together in solidarity. Honorary co-hosts included Roma director Cuarón, as well as Laura Dern, Natalie Portman, and InStyle EIC Laura Brown.
Other notable guests included June Diane Raphael, Insecure‘s Kendrick Sampson, activist Sarah Sophie Flicker, and actress Rosanna Arquette, accompanied by her family’s beloved nanny, who Arquette lovingly introduced as, “the hero in our home.”
“Putting domestic workers on the big screen at the Oscars is a huge win for us,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, the NDWA’s Political Director. “We’re gonna take the momentum of this big moment and work to pass the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights; historic legislation that would finally give domestic workers the dignity and respect they deserve on the job.”
Morales Rocketto and other special guests addressed attendees throughout the evening, which culminated in a champagne toast celebrating the domestic workers in attendance, and all over the world.
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In preparation for the festivites, online dress rental company Rent The Runway hosted six women in their New York City styling studio to get them fitted for the big night. They also donated 60 designer dresses to domestic workers and NDWA staff to help everyone in the room get into the Oscar spirit.
And although Roma did not end up taking home the evening’s most coveted award for Best Picture, the room still went wild when the cast and crew accepted each of their four awards over the course of the night.
“I think everything’s a possibility if you prepare for it,” Longoria later said. “Be educated, whether it’s acting or becoming a lawyer. You have to be educated and prepared for the opportunities that are to come.” Sage advice that we can all use right now!
To learn more about the National Domestic Workers Alliance and how to get involved, visit domesticworkers.org.
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