(The Guardian) -- On Monday night, the sitcom Modern Family, which traffics in some of the worst Latino stereotypes on television, won its fifth consecutive Emmy award for best comedy.
But minutes before that predictable showing, the show’s Latina superstar, Sofia Vergara, allowed herself to be put on display as a human trophy during chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Bruce Rosenblum’s terribly boring speech (which touched on, of all things, diversity in the business). Vergara even let herself get spun around, like a pie in a display case, to cuchi cuchi in front of a large national audience. As a Latina, I was appalled, if not exactly surprised.
Vergara has made a career by embodying Latina stereotypes – so much that even Latina magazine (which usually supports Latinas in Hollywood without much criticism) created a slideshow of the harmful stereotypes she’s portrayed on screen. On Modern Family, her character – or should I say caricature – is far louder than any Latina I have ever met, comes from a narco upbringing and has an accent so thick you could cut it. Yes, she also plays a loving wife and doting mother whose character struggles with how fast her eldest son is growing – but even that ends up stretching the loving stereotype of Latino mothers into a mockery of our community’s strong sense of family.
Advertisement - story continues below