Some days ago I wrote a post about Sofia Vergara and how I thought she was basically bad publicity for “latina” women. However, through a comment and some further discussion about the topic with friends I’ve come to discover that Sofia isn’t the guilty party here.
Even though her character ticks me a bit, it’s not really about her or her big tits or butt, or even if she is a sex symbol or any other thing by the way.
Who really is to blame here if anyone is, would be the producer and even if it’s the case I really don’t hear anyone saying much because the show has great ratings and has several Emmys. So who cares about the fact that she was showcased as whatever it is the producer’s show wants her to be. Truth to be told, she’s better off then when she was playing her parts in the “novelas” she starred in back home and her big bucks and Hollywood lifestyle should be enough proof of it.
The fact is that I’m not going even to go there.
The way latinas or women in general are portrayed in Hollywood has to do with the small amount of women producers out there.
According to a great article written by Maria Giese titled “Lights, Camera, Inaction” published in Ms. magazine in August, which was kindly brought to my attention by a great friend I learned a bucket about the existence or better said the “inexistence” of female producers and screenwriters. It amazed me that only 10% of all screenwriters in Hollywood were women.
From that same article I catched up on the work the Geena Davis Institute on Gender was doing and how they were bringing attention towards the fact that if we had more women that were producing and screenwriting women would be less stereotyped and sexualized in series, sitcoms and or movies.
It’s understandable that producers and screenwriters want to have an emotional impact on their viewers, so they recur to violence mainly against women or children to acquire that effect, but there has to be another way we can get that without the violence.
I feel a bit silly about my post on Sofia and how I failed to separate her persona versus her character in the sitcom. I still feel latina should not be portrayed the way they are, but it’s a bit more than that.
Hollywood isn’t really interested in how our culture really works and all around it’s another topic of discussion that has nothing to do with Sofia or Jennifer Lopez.
The funny thing is that we are not exclusive on the bad publicity we may be getting because of these television shows because I remembered the movie “Good Morning Vietnam” and recalled the gentle character of a Vietnamese young woman that was in love with the American soldier portrayed by our beloved Robin Williams. Hollywood loves to portray Asian women as geishas or martial art experts, and never as they really are.
So you see my dear friends, even though I still am ticked a bit by Sofia’s character in Modern Family I’ve moved on to a topic that has sparkled my interest and has given me hours of great conversation with friends and family.
Above all I’m grateful for the work Geena Davis and so many others are putting in to make a difference in how we are showcased and bringing attention to how adverse violence against women can be when it is validated through the small and big screen.
Finally a thumbs up for producers of the caliber of Catherine Hardwicke and Sofia Coppola that are showing the world that women can be as successful as any male producer out there.
We should never stop believing “mis queridas amigas” that we are valuable and should always be treated with respect and love no matter what ethnic background we come from.
See you around the corner.