Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria

Imeh Bryant for the Paley Center

In what seemed to be a magical night, the Paley Center brought together some of the most powerful and influential Hispanics. Celebrities like Eva Longoria, Gina Rodriguez, Wilmer Valderrama, Prince Royce, Rafael Amaya, Jorge Ramos and many more came together to celebrate an impactful tribute to Hispanic achievements in television. 

The night highlighted more than seven decades of television history. 

"Tonight we demonstrate how television, more than any other medium, serves to shatter stereotypes, educate audiences, and bring people together," said Maureen J. Reidy, President & CEO of The Paley Center for Media. "We are so proud to celebrate the Hispanic icons and innovators, shows and series that broke barriers and continue to make new strides."

The night was also presented by Verizon and Longoria was the first presenter of the night and she got the room laughing when she recalled a moment that she shared on the set of Jane the Virgin, "I said to Gina (Rodriguez) ‘Gina there are more Latinos than white people on the set—and we're not doing craft services!'" The 41-year-old star recently directed an episode of the hit show. 

Celebrities presented historical moments in their perspective fields, like Prince Royce who led the tribute to Hispanic achievements in Music on Television. 

"I'm so proud to be here tonight to talk about how television gave Latin music a platform like no other. You can't really separate Latinos from music. It's part of our essence, part of our soul. And whether you grew up with mambo, ranchera, merengue, salsa, or bachata like me—music has connected all of us across generations," Royce said.

Wilmer Valderrama

Imeh Bryant for the Paley Center

Lucie Arnaz

Imeh Bryant for the Paley Center

The night was dedicated to Cuban-born American actor and musician Desi Arnaz. The father of two was also a writer and producer who changed the world of television by introducing the four-camera format. Andy García presented the tribute to Arnaz and to accept in his honor was Desi and Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz

"Many other talented people were making strides in television when Mom and Dad started. But mixed with my mother's divinely inspired comedic know-how and the best writers around, Dad's heritage - his Latin-ness- was actually, one of the magic bullets that set this show apart," Arnaz said.

"We still don't see enough Latinos represented in leadership roles - not just in entertainment, but in areas such as technology and science. More of our children identify with entertainment and professional sports because these are highly visible jobs that symbolize success. But, success can also mean being a leader in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Verizon Innovative Learning program is designed to promote the growth of science and tech education for middle school children," Diego Scotti, Verizon's CMO and EVP, said. 


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