Two months after Gina Rodriguez was accused of being ‘anti-black’ when she spoke out about pay inequity, the actress is clarifying her comments in an emotional new interview. Watch here.
Gina Rodriguez faced major backlash in November after she spoke about women in television during a roundtable discussion with Emma Roberts, Ellen Pompeo and Gabrielle Union. When the subject of equal pay came up, Gina admitted, “I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay especially when you look at the international aspect of it, where white women get paid more than Black women, Black women get paid more than Asian women and Asian women get paid more than Latina women, and it’s like a very scary space to step into.”
It was quickly pointed out on Twitter that, actually, Sofia Vergara, a Latina, is the highest paid actress in television, whereas there’s only one Black woman on the top ten list, Kerry Washington. Critics were quick to slam Gina as ‘anti-black’ for her comments, and two months later, she’s finally addressing the situation. During a new interview on SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning, Gina explained that her statement was meant about Latina women in general, not just those in the entertainment industry.
“The backlash was devastating, to say the least,” Gina said, while fighting back tears. “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 saying that I’m anti-family. My father is dark-skinned. He’s Afro-Latino, and it’s in my blood so that was really devastating to me. I know my heart. I know what I meant, and I really wish we weren’t living in a culture where we’re clickbait, because I’ve never said anything controversial about anybody. If anything, the Black community is my community. As Latinos, we have Black Latinos — that is what we are. I am not, so i think when I speak about Latino advocacy, people believe I mean only my skin color.”
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
Gina went on to admit that the aftermath of that backlash was a “really, really dark time” for her, and made her avoid social media at all costs. “My mental health is much more important to me,” she declared. In the end, she offered an official apology. “If I have hurt you, I am sorry, and I will always be sorry,” she said. “But you have to know, until you know my heart, there is no way we can live off clickbait.”