On November 16, four talented actresses — Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez and Emma Roberts — joined forces to discuss women in TV. But the talk wasn’t just about the roles we see on the small screen, it went a lot deeper and touched on diversity and the pay disparity in Hollywood.
The 24-minute panel was hosted by NET-A-PORTER and aired on YouTube to much delight on social media.
It’s not every day you see a diverse group of women talk about inclusion and equality. However, there was a portion in the segment that made people on social media livid.
Around the 1.14 minute mark, Gina Rodriguez began to speak about how Latinas are paid less than other women including black women.
“I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it, right? Where white women get paid more than black women, 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,” Rodriguez said, which Union nodded in agreement. “Because I always feel like I fail when I speak about it because I can’t help but feel already so gracious to do what I do and I feel like, culturally, I feel like I was raised to just feel so appreciative of getting here.”
That comment left people on social media feeling ruffled.
Why can't Gina Rodriguez promote Latinas without always referencing Black women and making comparisons? Like just call out that we need more Latins! We get it
— Future GOAT 🙅🏽♀️ (@CandaceHowze) November 26, 2018
Critics expressed their dislike for hearing Rodriguez’s comment which they said basically threw black women under the bus along with their accomplishments and historic moves in Hollywood.
Her comment also insinuated that she was speaking about the disparity between women in Hollywood. However, she may have been referring to all industries in the country.
I used to like Gina Rodriguez but the more I watch her interviews the more I realise what an asshole she is. Why does she always feel the need to bring down black people and compare them to latinas.
— King Melanin 👑 (@msanidemaii) November 22, 2018
We’d like to assume Rodriguez was referring to the nationwide pay rate statistics in which white women make 77 cents for every dollar that white men make, while Asian women make 85 cents, black women make 61 cents, Native American women make 58 cents, and Latinas make 53 cents.
People were quick to point out that the highest paid actress on television isn’t a white or black woman but a Latina.
Re: regarding Gina Rodriguez saying Black actresses are paid more than Latinx actresses – Sofia Vergera is the highest paid according to Forbes ($42 .5mil). Kerry Washington is the only Black actress on this list at #8: https://t.co/MrkiGDC0c2
— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) November 23, 2018
While actress Sofia Vergara has been topping the list of highest paid TV actresses earning more than $160 million dollars, it’s important to note that she is an exception in an industry where white men occupy the screen and dominate in salaries.
While Rodriguez’s remark left some people shaking their head, others were not surprised. They pointed to another moment in which she put black women aside.
This told me everything I needed to know about Gina Rodriguez.
How swift she was to cut in and erase/block the compliment given to her Black counterpart?
I’m good love, Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/lEbzZRUELT
— Jon Paul, Ed.D. 🥰🌈 (@DoctorJonPaul) November 23, 2018
During a press event with cast member Yara Shahidi, Rodriguez didn’t allow the journalist to highlight Shahidi as an incredible accomplishment for black women. Rodriguez wanted him to emphasize that she was important to all women, not just black women.
Here’s some more of what people had to say about her remark regarding Latinas pay rate vs. black women’s pay.
Me dragging Gina Rodriguez every chance I get, but still tuning in to watch Jane the Virgin every week. pic.twitter.com/72MUO8tmGu
— ri | aubrey day (@dayaspatton) November 23, 2018
Will you still watch “Jane the Virgin”?
Some are saying that the actress is just showing her true colors.
Remember that time Gina Rodriguez blocked me for calling her out on her anti blackness and participating in erasing black women
— *•.¸♡ electric susi ♡¸.•* (@ElectricSusi) November 20, 2018
We’re thinking some may have taken her comments out of context. What do you think?
Others point out that Rodriguez has never highlighted the work and talent of Afro-Latinas.
Jane the virgin is a cute show but y’all gave Gina Rodriguez the tittle of ambassador of the Latinas in Hollywood and yet doesn’t advocate for the visibility of Afro latinas. Why? pic.twitter.com/NZ6Zcvirmj
— nightshade. (@femmeizon) November 23, 2018
Rodriguez has yet to comment on the backlash of her comment.
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