To anyone who thought that Beyoncé and the MTV Video Music Awards signaled a new era for popular media, I present to you this historic moment:
Image Credit: Buzzfeed
Yes, that is Bruce Rosenblum at the microphone, chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, giving a speech about diversity while Emmy-nominated actress Sofía Vergara twirled casually on a pedestal next to him. No, we did not accidentally travel back to the 1950s. This overt example of objectification actually happened during the 2014 Emmys, and everybody on the Internet rightfully lost it.
That Sofia Vergara bit just set back Beyoncé's "FEMINISM" signage like 40 years. #Emmys— Michael Deppisch (@deppisch) August 26, 2014
Nice that the head of this operation is talking about diversity while objectifying a Latina woman. Still a ways to go, folks. #emmys— rachelsklar (@rachelsklar) August 26, 2014
On the plus side, the Vergara bit has magically united everyone in my Twitter feed in mutual sorrow and shame.— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) August 26, 2014
Fuck everything right now. #Emmys— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) August 26, 2014
So now we're doing automobile floor model/booty jokes? Mmkay. #Emmys— Sarah Rodman (@GlobeRodman) August 26, 2014
"Hi, Sofia, this is what we think you're good for." #Emmys— Debra DiGiovanni (@DebraDiGiovanni) August 26, 2014
Yeah this Sofia Vergara bit isn’t extremely wrong #Emmys— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) August 26, 2014
Dear Academy President: Sofia Vergara is not a prize from the Price Is Right. #Emmys— Janet Mock (@janetmock) August 26, 2014
This. Is. Brutal. Is this 2014? #emmys— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) August 26, 2014
Although some were slower than others to realize how offensive this was:
Although we'd love to say this was an isolated incident; in fact, it's not the first time Vergara has been ridiculed, infantilized and generally disrespected by her peers. As one of the only high-profile women of color on television, she gets her healthy dose of racism and sexism pretty much regularly — not to mention used as a tool for the blatant perpetuation of "spicy Latina" stereotypes. This acceptance speech from the 2012 Golden Globes, in which Modern Family's executive producer Steven Levitan implies she sleeps with her producers, essentially speaks for itself.
Better luck next year, boys.