Golden Globes Stage Gives Latina Stars Ferrera and Longoria the Last Laugh

The two set the record straight about the differences between Latina actors.

America Ferrera and Eva Longoria presenting during the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan. 10. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Jan 11, 2016· 2 MIN READ
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

America Ferrera isn’t letting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association live down its awkward blunder.

Last month, when the Ugly Betty actor took the stage at a press conference to announce the nominees for the 73rd annual Golden Globes, the award show’s Twitter account mistook her for a different Latina actor: Jane the Virgin star and fellow Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez.

The HFPA quickly apologized for the error, but to some, the Twitter gaffe was a cringeworthy reminder of the movie industry’s stunning lack of ethnic diversity both behind and in front of the camera.

Ferrera feels the same way, apparently: During Sunday night’s Golden Globes broadcast, she and actor and director Eva Longoria got the last word. While presenting the award for best performance by an actor in a television series, drama, the pair offered a straightforward clarification—and a biting criticism—to those who have trouble telling one Latina actor from another.

“Hi, I’m Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes,” said the Telenovela star.

“And hi, I’m America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” said the vocal talent for the character of Astrid in the animated franchise How to Train Your Dragon.

“Neither one of us are Rosario Dawson,” Longoria quipped.

The witty yet simple comedy bit scored big laughs in the room and many memes online, where some called it the highlight of the show. Others suggested that Longoria and Ferrera should team up to host the Golden Globes next year, replacing this year’s controversial host Ricky Gervais, who offended some viewers within seconds of his opening monologue with jokes about Caitlyn Jenner and Transparent that many viewed as transphobic. Introducing Ferrera and Longoria, Gervais joked that the stars were “two people who your future president, Donald Trump, can’t wait to deport.”

The duo’s short monologue also underscored the dismal statistics: While Latinos account for nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, Latino characters comprised just 2 percent of all roles in broadcast scripted programming during the 2012–13 season, according to data compiled by UCLA“s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. By the researchers’ estimates, the numbers make Latinos the most underrepresented minority group on television by a factor of more than 8 to 1.

Those statistics could soon improve, thanks to forthcoming television series starring Jennifer Lopez (the NBC cop drama Shades of Blue), Nicholas Gonzalez (the animated FOX comedy Bordertown), and none other than Ferrera and Longoria (you didn’t think they'd be at the Golden Globes without promoting a show, did you?).
Ferrera coproduces in the new NBC sitcom Superstore, in which she plays an employee at a fictional Walmart-like big-box retailer in St. Louis.

Similar to Rodriguez’ Jane the Virgin, which plays with tropes from Latino soap operas, Longoria’s new NBC show—which she co–executive produces—also finds comedy in the dramatic telenovela format. Longoria plays a Miami-based Spanish-language soap star who does not speak Spanish.

“This is a world we haven’t seen in television before,” she told Variety last week. “She’s in this great big world of being a Latin star, but yet insecure about, ‘Am I Latin enough?’ ”

Maybe someday soon, the HFPA—and the industry as a whole—will be asking itself the same thing.