Sofia Vergara Appears In Emmys Bit Standing On A Pedestal, Emmys Blasted As Sexist
Sofia Vergara turned heads and caused a bit of controversy when she participated in a bit on the Emmys that had her spinning on a pedestal, literally being used as an onstage prop.
Sofia Vergara Spins On Pedestal In Emmys Bit
Vergara, a four-time Emmy nominee and star on Modern Family, appeared on the Emmy stage to introduce the President of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Bruce Rosenblum. In every awards show, addresses by the president of the group handing out the awards are always considered boring and unnecessary, and, as such, are often fodder for jokes. This year at the Emmys, the creative minds behind the show decided they would make Rosenblum’s entire speech a joke by having Vergara stand silently beside him on a rotating pedestal.
Vergara spun around, alternating between looking clumsy and at posing nicely, as Rosenblum spoke about the “diversity” within television, something many viewers took offense to.
“Our academy is more diverse than ever before, both in front of, and behind the camera, resulting in a diversity of story telling,” Rosenblum said as Vergara showed off her famous figure, the audience chuckling in the background.
“Our academy never loses sight that no matter what platform, television has and will always be about great storytelling…. The most important thing is to never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch,” Rosenblum concluded, adequately delivering the punch line to a joke that appeared to place Vergara’s backside above her ability as an actress.
Viewers Slam Bit As Sexist
Needless to say, the Twitter backlash was loud and immediate, with many calling the bit just more proof of the sexism present in Hollywood – Jezebel ran the story with the headline, “Sofia Vergara Got to Participate in the Sexist Portion of the Emmys.”
Why doesn't Hollywood write compelling characters for women? Because they're too busy putting them on spinning pedestals. #Emmys
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) August 26, 2014
So, like you're going talk about the Academy's diversity while distracting people by how you sexualize Sofia Vergara ?
— Flora Ivezaj (@floraivezaj) 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
“It’s so difficult to deduce the reasons why women might feel discouraged from putting themselves forward as talents in the television industry, based on the fact that even a multiple nominee at the Emmys ends up getting taken for an emabarassing ride, one that goes around and around endlessly and to diminishing effect,” wrote Salon’s Daniel D’Addario.
Even Katie Couric commented on the offensive nature of the bit.
I love @SofiaVergara but did anyone find that schtick somewhat offensive?
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) August 26, 2014
Sofia Vergara Defends The Joke
When alerted to the negative reaction of her Emmys skit backstage, Vergara dismissed the notion that it was demeaning to women, saying, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it’s ridiculous that somebody started this – I know who she was – who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a bit.”
The identity of this “somebody” Vergara appears to be calling out as the source of the criticism is unclear, but Vergara’s confidence in the bit is certainly not up for debate. This is not surprising, as Vergara has always appeared willing to make fun of her looks in comedy – her character in Modern Family is just one example.
Stephen Colbert Emmy Misstep
Adding insult to injury, the moment came just after Stephen Colbert, of The Colbert Report, made an ill-advised comment about his show’s lack of female writers as he accepted the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series.
“Our writers won last week…I’m so proud of those guys. And one woman! And, um, sorry for that, for some reason,” Colbert said with a shrug.
Some pointed out that the timing is also especially disappointing in the wake of Beyoncé’s powerful VMA performance in which she sang in front of a huge screen declaring her a feminist.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) August 25, 2014
The audience just clapped for Sofia Vergara's butt while she rotated on a disc. That Beyonce feminist moment on the VMAs was pretty cool.
— Vulture (@vulture) August 26, 2014