Michael Peña and John Leguizamo were honored at a gala held by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). (Photos/Getty Images)

Michael Peña, John Leguizamo honored for erasing Hispanic stereotypes in Hollywood

On Friday night, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) honored outstanding Latino talent for helping erase negative Latino stereotypes in Hollywood, bestowing awards to actor Michael Peña, comedian John Leguizamo, host Mario Lopez and others for their positive contribution to media.

The 16th  Annual NHMC Impact Awards – held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California – honored Peña with an award for “Outstanding Performance in a Motion Picture” for his role in “End of Watch.” Lopez, who recently announced that he is expecting a second baby with wife Courtney Mazza Lopez, received the “Outstanding Media Entrepreneur” for his on-air appearances with shows like “The X Factor.”

RELATED: In “Gangster Squad,” Michael Peña has platform to defy stereotypes

Other honorees during the evening’s gala emceed by Tony Plana and Aimee Garcia included “Homeland” actress Morena Baccarin, “Once Upon A Time” stunner Lana Parilla and Ginna Torres (USA’s “Suits”), who each received “Outstanding Female Performances in a Television Series.”

Leguizamo – who is currently developing a sitcom loosely based on his life for ABC – received the “Outstanding Theatrical Performance” award for his work on the hit Broadway show “Ghetto Klown.”

RELATED: John Leguizamo gets new ABC comedy after old pilot gets scrapped

This year’s Impact Awards also handed out its first ever Lupe Ontiveros Indomitable Spirit Award, to Tony Hernandez, the co-founder and executive producer of the Immigrant Archive Project. which seeks to document the immigrant experience in the United States.

NHMC was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1986 with the mission to increase Hispanic representation in the local news. Now, the organization has nine chapters nationwide and endeavors to“ eradicate the negative Latino stereotypes depicted in all forms of media.”

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