*Gina Rodriguez says the backlash she received over her seemingly anti-Black comments left her feeling like the black sheep of the Black family she always imagined herself being part of.
The “Janet the Virgin” actress became emotional while discussing how her past statements offended the Black community, most specifically when she addressed pay wages and Latina representation in Hollywood.
“The backlash was devastating, to say the least,” she says about social media calling her anti-Black following 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.”
Listen to her explain it to Sway in the clip above.
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Gina Rodriguez “I relate to the black community the most” pic.twitter.com/53EGHm04Pc
— MakeupGeek (@_blackaida) January 23, 2019
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.”
Rodriguez first came under fire for minimizing the rape and erasure of Afro-Latinas, and she was called out for her interview with Yara Shahidi, during which she dismissed Black Women’s impact on films and TV. Most recently, during a roundtable talk with Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union and Emma Roberts, she explained her fear of discussing the Hollywood pay gap.
“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.”
The remark left many fans and online users feeling some way, and they rushed to the comments section of her social media pages to express their fury.
“I know my intention,” Gina 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.”