Actress and activist Eva Longoria attempted to clear the air Sunday night after comments she made while speaking about those who contributed most to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election victory came off as anti-Black women.
The 45-year-old, who has long been a strong presence in the Democratic Party, even hosting one of the nights of the Democratic Convention this past summer, spoke with MNSBC’s Ari Melber over the weekend about how women of color pushed the party over the top in this year’s election.
“I want to talk about what you just said about the women. The women of color showed up in big ways. Of course you saw in Georgia what Black women have done, but Latina women were the real heroines here, beating men in turnout in every state and voting for Biden/Harris at an average rate to 3 to 1. That wasn’t surprising to us because Latinas are the CEOs of the household. They make all the financial decisions and healthcare decisions and educational decisions. Many Latinas are small business owners and they wanted a plan for recovery for themselves, not for Wall Street. Trump’s policies were never aimed at the struggling Latina community. If you look at voter suppression on top of that, how Latinas showed up even through the closing of polling places, the shutting down of drop-off sites, new voter ID laws and long lines and driving 30 miles and on top of that, restrictions and safety protocols of a pandemic. That spirit and perseverance that Latinas use in their daily lives, the struggle to pay their bills and the struggle to show up to their jobs and home-school their kids and take care of their elders, that’s the same perseverance and spirit they used to show up at the polls.”
While Latina women in the country as a whole did show up in great numbers (70 percent voted for Biden), it’s odd to call them the “real heroines” when 91 percent of Black women showed up overwhelmingly for the Biden/Harris ticket. Not only that, but women like Stacey Abrams and her group Fair Fight, as well as LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matter Fund and many others were on the ground intensely working to hinder attempts at voter suppression.
All that being said, it’s not a competition, but it’s important to be clear and correct when conversations like this happen.
After backlash came in swift, she clarified her statements. She lauded Black women as the “backbone of the Democratic Party” and said that “Black women absolutely should be applauded and lifted up!” She said her comments were in regard to Latina women in comparison to Latino men, saying she was simply trying to convey that it was the women who actually showed up for that community.
“Black women don’t have to do it alone,” she said. “Latina women and other women of color are standing with them and growing their voice and power. Together we are Unstoppable!!!”
“Black women turned out 90% for Biden. I as a Latina, aspire to be as engaged as effective as they are!” she added.
She also shared a longer statement apologizing for the wording of her statements, which hit the points made in her tweets while also saying that with a history of anti-Blackness in the Latinx community, “I would never want to contribute to that.”
Even after her statements though, people still weren’t pleased and have been going back and forth about why what she said is and isn’t problematic. Hit the flip for more reactions.
Someone standing with Longoria as she deals with the backlash over her comments is friend and fellow actress and activist Kerry Washington. She shared Longoria’s long-form statement with the caption, “I know Eva like a sister. We have been in many trenches together. She is a fighter for all women. Read below. This is what she meant. This is how she truly feels.”
Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria at arrivals for SYLVIE’S LOVE Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2020, Eccles Theater Center, Park City, UT January 27, 2020.