Emmys

Emmys Outrage: Sofia Vergara Says 'Sexist' Criticisms Are 'Ridiculous'

Emmys Controversy Sexist Sofia

Backstage at Monday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards — where Modern Family had just five-peated as best comedy — Sofia Vergara was in no laughing mood about “sexist” criticisms made about her appearance during the telecast.

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Called upon to (ostensibly) illustrate Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Bruce Rosenblum’s speech about how diversity on television and how the medium is “always giving the viewer something compelling to watch,” Vergara stepped onto an on-stage turntable, where she eventually vamped and provided a visual distraction to the exec’s dry words.

Eventually stepping off the platform and feigning dizziness, Vergara quipped: “That’s why I stopped doing the car shows!”

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Time.com, for one, derided the moment as a “blatantly sexist trope,” while Jezebel and Refinery29 said the actress was “treated like a literal object” and “used for little more than eye candy.”

Vergara — visibly irritated by the critiques, which include claims that she dealt a blow to feminism — told reporters in the Emmys press room, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite…. I absolutely think it’s ridiculous.” Justifying her participation in the segment, she said, “It means somebody can be hot and be funny and make fun of herself.”

What did you think of Vergara’s “turn” during the Emmycast?  (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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60 Comments
  1. pauladuffy says:

    I’m with her. They were poking fun at those that think of her only as eye candy

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Same. Cant stand out PC society. Isnt it anti-feminist to say she shouldnt do that? Shes a grown adult woman, can she not decide “this bit is funny, in good humor and makes fun of itself, i’ll do it”? Its not like it was serious.

    • Angela says:

      I was going to say, that’s how it reads to me, too.
      Wow. Take a chill pill, people.

    • Whatevah says:

      You’re right. People really need to lighten up.

    • Mary says:

      Lets be real that is what she is known for not her acting. I personally don’t care that she wanted to stand there like a trophy because for me that is the perception she has always given off.

      • Oldruby says:

        You are right Mary! Other than standing there like a statue letting everyone ogle at her, what else would she do?

      • cjeffery7 says:

        I would argue that Modern Family has made her known for her comedic ability. I think the tendency is to assume she’s just shouting her lines ditz-ily and people think it’s funny because she’s a beautiful woman (in addition to her character being written that way to a certain degree), but making people laugh isn’t easy, it actually does require acting. there are plenty of renowned dramatic actors who just don’t play comedy well, especially not in a sitcom setting. And if her awkward fidgety posing didn’t make it obvious it was a farce for the objectification of women, we must not have been watching the same program.

    • DW says:

      Me too. The criticisms are beyond ridiculous.

  2. Diane says:

    It was a comedy bit.

  3. Steven says:

    I knew there was going to be outrage over this. It was a joke. move on.

  4. M3rc Nate says:

    So Beyonce stomping around on stage in basically underwear (and many other singers), and thats “empowering”, and pro-feminist, also being pushed is sex-positive feminism, which means a womans orgasm, a womans naked body, a womans sexuality, a womans looks, all should be free and up to the woman. We dont rip apart a fit military man taking a selfie of himself shirtless flexing (in camo pants), but we do when its a military woman showing off her curves in just her bra and camo pants…so the feminist idea is they should be met with the same response, acceptance of both. And the same applies to this bit, there would be 1% of this uproar if it had been Jon Hamm up there, which is the same % it should be with Sofia up there.

  5. meresger says:

    So… it’s okay if Sophia reads her cue cards but Trey Songz’s “I can always get behind a lady” joke at the VMA’s last night isn’t cool? It seemed more of a joke at Sophia’s expense. Or….
    In the pre show stuff she mentioned choosing her dress so that her boobs were not the only thing talked about (and joked about leaving her boyfriend home so as to not draw attention away from herself). So, maybe she felt her boobs, like her boyfriend, were distracting people from noticing her derrière in this sudden butt fad going on and that’s why she covered the gals and left the guy at home and stood on the turntable? If that was her intention, then well played, Sophia?

  6. I thought it was amusing. I’m not all that into Sofia Vergara, but I’d rather watch her be silly spinning on a turntable than listen to Seth Meyers talk again.

  7. Katie says:

    See, I get the outrage. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a joke. And I don’t need to “take a chill pill”, because I’m not worked up into some kind of hysterics over here.

    Let’s just start w the fact that it was a lame joke. But even acknowledging it was a joke and she was blah, blah empowered by choosing to do it blah, blah (although, was she? She seemed a little surprised by the stunt and unsure how to play it…) – the problem wasn’t with Vergara’s choice. The problem is that this was supposed to be funny. That in a room full of allegedly talented, successful women, we’re blatantly laughing at the fact that “Ooh, butt! Ooh, boobies!”. It was beneath all of us, women included.

    And remember that if some of us women are a little overly sensitive to the joke, forgive us, because this is the very type of crap that had, in previous generations, been used to hold us back. That’s why it’s a little different than shirtless men in camo pants or if Jon Hamm had been up there. Our (recent) histories are a little different. If you think it’s too PC, try to see it more as just a matter of taste.

    On the other hand, would I prefer Seth Meyers go on talking? Maybe not.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Here’s the thing you got wrong in the biggest way; it is not a “fact” that it was a lame joke. I personally thought it was funny (therefore not lame to at least one person). Comedy is relative to each individuals sense of humor and personality. What you bring up is valid, that some women might be sensitive to this because in the not distant past the attitude being satirized was real. However that argument could be used against Comedians who joke about racism and stereotypes and slavery. At what point, how many generations have to go by for it to get your stamp of approval to be joked about? Cause thats not how comedy works…sometimes comedy is used right in the middle of something horrible, to help us make sense of something, to help ease our pain, to help give us perspective (kinda like how comedians wondered after 9/11 how soon could they make a terrorism joke) BTW she seemed surprised because shes an actress and her job is to be convincing at pretending, and that skit called for pretending to be surprised like she didnt know what was happening.

      What it comes down to to me is you cant have it both ways. You cant have Beyonce stomping around on stage basically in her underwear shaking her butt and grinding on things and FEMINISM pop up on screen behind her and everyone clap and twitter go abuzz at how shes so empowering and pro-feminism and a great role model, but then as part of a satire bit (meaning its making fun of what it appears to be) rip Sofia apart for her body and sexuality.

      How is it this gets ripped apart but not a peep on Nicki Minaj twerking and all the other crap on the VMA’s? Anyways…just because women are feminists, just because they are smart and talented and independent and successful, doesn’t mean a hugely racist joke, a hugely sexist joke, a horrible WWII joke cant make them laugh. We all have different senses of humor. Some love high brow, some love dirty filthy super edgy crossing the line comedy…it doesnt make the women laughing any less intelligent, it doesnt take away any of their success or their feminism. Comedy is just about making us laugh. Once people start nitpicking about what comedians can and cant say because of Politically Correctness…(which is happening more and more), we are screwed.

      • YouMissthePoint says:

        The difference that you miss is that Beyonce and even the godawful Nicki Minaj were the performers – the act in charge on the stage. That’s a far different visual than having a woman, known largely for her curves, stand quietly on a turntable, while the chairman talks about giving viewers something compelling to look at.

        That’s pretty anti-feminist. That doesn’t make it not funny. As you mention, funny is subjective.

        • I think you’re missing the joke here. The complaint here is that Sofia was turned into an object and that women shouldn’t be put on display in a fashion that diminishes her character. It’s not that she was wearing the tight dress that’s supposed to be funny. It’s that she looked RIDICULOUS. She played up the awkwardness and embarrassment factor. If she just stood there smiling and motionless, it wouldn’t have been funny.

        • cjeffery7 says:

          the Chairman was the set piece, Sofia gave the performance.

    • Whatevah says:

      oh brother….

    • Meh says:

      It wasn’t a lame joke to everyone. I laughed. I’m a woman. I LOVE she did that. She owned that bit and it took confidence and comic chops first, beauty last. Why anyone would be offended by it is truly beyond me.

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m a woman and wasn’t insulted in the slightest. This bit was obviously tongue-in-cheek and I actually thought that it was well done – and the comedic timing was perfect (by both parties).

    (to the person below who commented that Vergara “seemed a little surprised by the stunt and unsure how to play it” – that was plain old “good acting”)

  9. Gaara says:

    *smh* Why am I not surprised about this? They completely miss the point and then rush headlong to attack anything they perceive as anti-femininst, just because it’s the popular thing to do.. Just like Tumblr does

  10. dj says:

    It was silly

  11. Gwen says:

    Maybe next year, the Emmy producers can repeat this bit but put Jon Hamm on the pedestal.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      That would be great! I saw it for what it was-a joke. She is a strong, confident woman, and I don’t think she does anything she doesn’t want to do. I saw it as poking fun at the ridiculous, and those who were laughing, they saw it that way too. Everyone needs to calm down. Frankly, by taking such offense on behalf of Ms Vergara is just as insulting as they claim the bit was! Surely they are not implying she couldn’t decide to do this on her own, and needs them to point out the error of her ways! John Hamm next time! Great idea, and he’d love it!

  12. jm says:

    It was one of my favourite moments… Specially because everyone knows that no-one listen to the president of the academy and they were making fun of that.
    Sofia Vergara is the BEST! Viva la madre que te parió!

    • Anna says:

      I thought the same thing I usually don’t pay attention to the president speech and this time I had a better reason not to.. they were making fun of that and for me it worked.

  13. elaine says:

    In an industry where the “look at me factor” is prevalent and sometimes overwhelming, I don’t understand the outrage about Sofia Vergara being used in this way. She certainly doesn’t understand the many implications which helps us see why she continues to win awards.

  14. betty says:

    I thought it was funny. I think people are taking things a bit to serious. When did our sense humor go out the door. Does everything have to be politically correct come on people lighten up.

  15. Mary says:

    She wouldn’t see anything wrong with the segment because that is really what she is famous for. For instance has she really ever worn a dress on the red carpet that didn’t put emphasis on her body, they all look the same. Sorry for me she is known for her looks not her acting ability.

    • Oldruby says:

      You are so right! The idea that giving awards for the sake of just glorifying oneself is alive and well in Hollywood.

    • Meh says:

      Why in the world would she wear something that didn’t compliment her body?? She’s gorgeous and has an amazing body. I am really confused by your comment. So women who dress sexy or wear things to compliment their bodies are wrong to do so?

  16. Juan says:

    I swear, people are so sensitive, it was funny.

  17. Marco says:

    Why are people still listening to Jezebel? It’s a site that glorifies domestic violence if the victim of it is male, and generally an embarrassment to feminism.

  18. wrstlgirl says:

    For me personally, I just found it stupid and unnecessary. Kind of the same way I feel about Vergara. Not a fan.

  19. Casey says:

    They should have had a hunky guy on another platform rotating next to her – eye candy for everyone. Then I’d beleive that it was just a simple haermless comedy bit

  20. Dave says:

    How could she really be objectified if she agreed to do it? People are allowed to poke fun at themselves. No one held a gun to her head and made her do this. If she didn’t feel bad about it, who are you to feel bad for her? Take it in the spirit in which it was intended.

  21. SLS says:

    Sexism pure and simple and gross.

  22. Meh says:

    She’s not a half wit. She was in on the joke. Anybody calling it sexist is just trying to shame Sofia for being a funny and beautiful woman who has the confidence to acknowledge it, celebrate it and not take herself too seriously. She owned that bit and made an otherwise boring part of the evening a bit more tolerable. Bravo Sofia! It’s annoying we even have to talk about this at all. It was a joke, everyone remain calm. Not every little thing has to elicit some social life lesson.

  23. Bobby says:

    It was a comedy bit. People need to STFU and get over it.

  24. HAP says:

    According to Forbes, when you add up her per episode salary and her endorsement deals, Sophia makes $30 million per year, I think she can do what she damn well pleases.

  25. Mikael says:

    I think it was meant as a commentary on how people only see her as a sex symbol

  26. EB says:

    Sofia Vergara looooves publicly showin’ off her stuff, and why not? If I looked like her, I’d do it, too. Let her have her fun; she’s not hurting anyone.

    • so what u r saying is that you had to use your brain uh? wow…sounds like you bought into this “woman only make it to the top if they have boobs and ass…” sad….really sad…she hurts women’s progress…but then again, you would do that too…IF u had what she has…laughable…

  27. the ice bucket challenge shows who she really is…”let me chow u mai boobs with ice on them””…jajaja…if she wasn’t in an ?American” sitrcom…she would be a stripper…a high paid stripper though…

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Hahaha, this is funny. She loves flaunting those boobies, that’s for sure. Comes across as cheap to me but other people love it so whatever works for ya.

  28. rkar7 says:

    We as a society at times are just losing our sense of humor.

  29. Julie says:

    I think people need to lighten up.

  30. Marilyn says:

    Sorry sofia, for me that was very stupid. I can see you have a deceases of attention. Be real and stop being a clown .

  31. cjeffery7 says:

    the Chairman was merely a set piece. Sofia gave the performance.

  32. gaby says:

    I am so over her. She made no sense in the used car turntable skit, her stupid excuses for not having her boyfriend as her Emmy escort and her dress slippage dancing at the party later. She needs to acquire taste. And she is a spokesperson?? Please! Dump her!