Identity

Gina Rodriguez Finally Addressed Those 'Anti-Black' Criticisms

The “Jane the Virgin” actress has been under fire for a series of statements about representation and the pay gap between Latinas and Black women in Hollywood.
January 23, 2019, 4:16pm
Gina Rodriguez
Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Gina Rodriguez addressed finally allegations of being anti-black in a new Sway's Universe interview. The Janet the Virgin actress teared up as she talked about a series of incidents where she offended the Black community when talking about Latinx disenfranchisement in regards to pay wages and representation in Hollywood.

"The backlash was devastating, to say the least," she says about social media calling her anti-Black stemming from a November Net-A-Porter interview. "The Black community was the only community I looked to growing up. We didn't have that many Latino shows, so the Black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get anti-black is saying that I'm anti-family."

Adding, "I really wish we weren't living in a culture where we're click-bait, because I've never said anything controversial about anybody. If anything, the Black community is my community. When I speak about Latino advocacy, people think I'm only talking about people who are my skin color, but little do they know that I'm very aware of what my culture is."

The 34-year-old also doubled down that Latinas in "all industries make less money."

The first incident where Rodriguez was put under fire was a gathering she hosted in 2017 for Latinas in Hollywood in which there were few AfroLatinas in attendance.

The second incident was during an interview with Yara Shahidi in which she cut off the journalist who asked Shahidi about being a role model for Black women, by saying she's a role model for "all women."

Most recently was the Net-A-Porter roundtable discussion about pay disparity in Hollywood with Gabrielle Union, Emma Roberts, and Ellen Pompeo in which Rodriguez centered the plight of Latina actresses.

“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," she said.

As of 2018, the highest paid actress in the world is Sofia Vergara, a Latina actress from Colombia. But behind the scenes, there is a large disparity in what people of color make, with Black and Latinx writers making the lowest amount. In terms of poverty rates in the US, the highest national poverty rates were for Indigenous people at 27 percent, African Americans at 25.8 percent, and ranged from 16-26 percent for Hispanics.

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Regardless of the specific numbers, Rodriguez contends that there should be no division between oppressed communities.

"I know my intention," she said on Sway. "The last thing I'd want to do is put two underrepresented groups against each other. Our unification is our rise. Our unification is what's going to allow both of our communities to continue to flourish. I support and hope the reverse would happen."