Gina Rodriguez. Sigh.
So, full disclosure—I loved Rodriguez’s bubbly self in Jane the Virgin. The CW comedy (perhaps, dramedy?) is a wonderful display of telenovela satire and that shit is endearing. Rogelio De La Vega forever.
But, her recent antics of late? “Disappointed” may be the best word. “Annoyed” is another. “Exasperated” rounds out the trifecta.
Before we get to the most recent antics, a little background, as Rodriguez has a few transgressions under her belt.
As Twitter user @eleven8 pointed out, this conveniently erased the wave of Afro-Latinx who have starred in Marvel projects (film and television), including but not limited to Tessa Thompson, Zoe Saldana, and Rosario Dawson.
Next, there was a 2018 junket interview with Yara Shahidi, where she All-Lives-Mattered the interviewer who pointed out how Shahidi is a role model for black women. She interjected, noting she is a role model for all women.
But—We. Talking. About. Black. Women. Right. Now. Sis.
Then, to bring it all home, there were her comments about pay equity.
Around the 1:03 mark, Rodriguez began citing the sliding scale of pay in Hollywood.
“I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay, especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it,” Rodriguez said. “Where white women get paid more than black women, and black women get paid more than Asian women, Asian women get paid more than Latina women and it’s like a very scary space to step into.”
Along with the statement being debunked, her intentions behind it were questioned.
Note—Her statistics may haven been more in line with the general pay gap, yet still slightly inaccurate.
Bottom line—It’s really telling when non-black POC stand on the backs of black people’s fight for representation to champion their own causes. It’s never “Hey, let’s build our own” and more, “Hey, y’all fight is trending, why can’t ours, too?” Chile, who’s stopping you? It really makes me question your sincerity for true inclusion when it’s merely a knee-jerk reaction to black people’s progression.
As such, things came to a head when Rodriguez went on her press tour for her new film, Miss Bala. One stop of the tour included SiriusXM’s Sway In The Morning where she addressed the criticism she had been receiving since her comments.
“The backlash was devastating, to say the least, because...,” she started.
Then, in epic Golden Globe winning Jane fashion, the tears came.
“The black community was the only community I looked toward growing up,” she continued. “We didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So, to get ‘anti-black’ is saying that I’m ‘anti-family.’”
She then went on to say her father is dark-skinned and Afro-Latino. Upon seeing her father, this was met with skepticism amongst the Black Twitter streets.
And because Black Twitter gon’ black tweet, jokes arose:
Along with maintaining that her heart was sincere and blaming the backlash on “click-bait,” she also pointed out that white and Asian people weren’t miffed at her for her comments, only those pesky blacks. So, it’s OK, folks!
Oh, honey. Why would they be? They are sitting pretty making more than all of us, so of course, they chill about it.
Assuring she is fully aware of the shade spectrum within her community, she went on to imply that her actions speak for themselves, noting she provides opportunities for Latinx and black workers via her production company.
Which is cool, but maybe she should sit and sincerely unpack her comments and how they mirror the very anti-black language spoken by white people all the time. That would be the better road to take instead of chalking it all up to “click-bait.”
If you want to be perceived as pro-black, Gina? Listen to black women.
Sway’s full interview with Rodriguez is below (anti-black discussion begins around the 12:00-19:50 mark):