Gina Rodriguez got emotional responding to online critics who called her “anti-black” for comments she made late last year about pay equality — but her response to the topic is drawing even more criticism.
The Miss Bala and Jane the Virgin actress, 34, told Porter Edit in November, “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 had previously been criticized in July 2017 after she tweeted about Black Panther, “Marvel and DC are killing it in inclusion and women but where are the Latinos?! Asking for a friend…” Critics felt she should have been celebrating the fact that the film was important for black representation on screen.)
While appearing on SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning on Tuesday, Rodriguez was asked about the social media backlash from African American women, who felt the comparison wasn’t fair, and she broke down in tears while responding. “I always find it difficult to talk about equal pay as a woman who makes a substantial amount of money. As somebody who came from poverty to now the amount of money that I get paid, it doesn’t feel right that I’m the one talking about I because I’m so damn grateful,” she began.
Rodriguez’s comments on the topic start at the 12-minute mark:
“What I was saying was that when we talk about equal pay, we have to talk about intersectionality because we all must rise. So the backlash was devastating, to say the least because,” she paused to compose herself, then continued, “because the black community was the only community I looked towards growing up. We didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen, so to get ‘anti-black’ is to say I’m anti-family. My father is dark-skinned. He is Afro-Latino… It’s in my blood. So it was really devastating to me. And I know my heart. I know what I meant. I really wish that we weren’t living in a culture where we’re clickbait because I’ve never said anything controversial about anybody.”
Rodriguez said going through the incident was “really f***ing hard” and she described it as a “really, really dark time for me.” She explained, “It made me get away from social media because my mental health is much more important to me, especially when I know my intention. The last thing I want to do is put two under-represented groups against each other. Our unification is what is our rise. Our unification is what is going to allow both of our communities to continue to flourish.”
As for not speaking out earlier, she said, “What do you say — sorry for cheating when you didn’t cheat?” She said “never in a million years” would she have disparaged the black community. “That is so far from who I am. However, she did offer an apology — with a caveat. “If I have hurt you, I am sorry, and I will always be sorry, but you have to know, until you know my heart, there is no way we can live off clickbait,” she said.
Rodriguez’s new interview has been trending on Twitter and many are not responding well.
Gina Rodriguez could easily acknowledge that her past comments were antiblack (regardless of if she didn't intend them to be) and learn to do better and grow but she rather play victim
— destiny's play cousin (@bluinmoonlight) January 23, 2019
Here's Gina Rodriguez crying because she's been rightfully called anti-black pic.twitter.com/6YcX4AO7jT
— fiona apple bottom jeans (@danielleisback_) January 23, 2019
Remember when Black Panther came out and Gina Rodriguez was all "what about the Latinos, when will we get a chance" then Crazy Rich Asians came out and she was so supportive and excited?
Girl go on somewhere with those fake ass tears. pic.twitter.com/F1Ip06vCsg
— Alex (@ACindahouzzz) January 23, 2019
All of us collectively laughing at Gina Rodriguez crying in that interview pic.twitter.com/qjn6k8WXUk
— Nellondria💅🏾 (@belizeanqueen_) January 23, 2019
Gina Rodriguez really pulls every excuse in the book to avoid admitting she's anti-black instead of 1) just freaking admitting that she is and 2) actively taking steps to retify that & change for the better pic.twitter.com/gxfazXumNi
— Your Friendly Neighborhood Multi (@mosdeedee) January 23, 2019
Can someone tell Gina Rodriguez to keep black women from out of her mouth? pic.twitter.com/r6PMygDeHM
— KimmyJan (@Johnny__Wadd) January 23, 2019
People are also taking issue over whether her father is dark-skinned.
Did Gina Rodriguez fake cry, and say her dad was "dark skinned" because he is an "Afro-Latino"?
Well this is her and her dad…….
He practically a Wesley Snipes lookalike, huh.. pic.twitter.com/p696ahWbLY
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) January 23, 2019
Gina Rodriguez “My father is dark skinned…..he’s Afro Latina” pic.twitter.com/13MAosEG4u
— MakeupGeek❤ (@_blackaida) January 23, 2019
Gina rodriguez calling her father dark skin when he’s 1 shade darker than her has spun me.
— i too am a darkskinned afro latina 🇪🇺🇳🇬 (@angehieux) January 23, 2019
Gina Rodriguez: “my dad is dark-skinned” “the black community is MY community” pic.twitter.com/CxGDslo44d
— starfire’s wig (@babyphatima) January 23, 2019
However, she does have defenders.
I'm sorry but there's no way anyone can convince me that Gina Rodriguez is anti-black. Sometimes y'all just be looking for villians.
— Cece (@CeceLari) January 23, 2019
I was just called horrible names on Instagram all because I commented on @HereIsGina photo saying I love her so much! Well it’s true I am fan of hers! People make mistakes all the time! And she did apologise for what she said!
— Kloe🇬🇧 (@Sabbymurs) January 23, 2019
And, though there is a lot of hate circulating, some of her critics won’t go so far as to “cancel” her because they like her work.
Me cackling at these Gina Rodriguez tweets all while knowing I’ll still be glued to the next season of Jane the Virgin as I’m too invested in the show. pic.twitter.com/41r4yITuY6
— Nicholas D. (@Creat1ve) January 23, 2019
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