When it comes to struggle in this country, trying to make it a competition never ends well, especially when if you try hard enough you can convey the individual barriers we all face depending on our gender, race, class or religion without using one example of struggle to declare how difficult another may be. Apparently, Jane The Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez isn’t grasping the concept and social media is extremely close to having an intervention with her or cancelling her altogether.
The 34-year-old actress recently participated in a round table conversation with Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo, and Emma Roberts on Net-A-Porter’s The Big Television Debate discussing women’s pay in America. In the discussion, Rodriguez seemed to imply that black actresses are paid more than Latin 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.”
“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.”
Social media collectively gave Rodriguez the side-eye at what appeared to be the poorly supported statistic and the receipts began to be pulled faster than the express line at Target on Black Friday before users called her out:
It wasn’t long before Twitter recalled past “All Lives Matter” type remarks that Rodriguez made when Yara Shahidi spoke on being role model for young black women. Her repeated hijacking of conversations celebrating black women to focus on the struggle of all women or Latin women often come across as minimizing both the achievements and struggles of others. Timing is everything. The key to having successful conversations about inclusion and diversity is the recognition that every struggle doesn’t need to be highlighted at the same time, nor does every win need to be celebrated simultaneously. For example, Kofi Siriboe can sing his praises to black women all day everyday and it doesn’t depreciate the strength, beauty and accomplishments of other women. The sooner we recognize that these conversations don’t have to be a competition, the better off we’ll all be.
You can check out the full discussion below: