Politics & Policy

The Emmys: Sexism So Obvious It’s on a Pedestal

Sofia Vergara thinks being turned into a mannequin wasn’t sexist, but it was.

Sofia Vergara is a four-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee and the highest paid actress on television. She is also quite easy on the eyes. How do we know? NBC made it alarmingly obvious: During Monday night’s Emmy Awards, they decided to have her step onto a rotating platform to distract from the president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ speech about something or other during last night’s Emmy Awards.

After the nice white man from the Academy asks her to step onto the pedestal, Vergara ”reluctantly” agrees, saying, “Alright, if that’s how they do it on American television.” (Isn’t her accent just adorable?!) 

Now, I want to make this clear: I don’t consider Sofia Vergara a great actor. She’s a good actor in the same way that Angelina Jolie is a good actor. If Vergara were to gain 20 pounds, no one in Hollywood would pay her another dime or nominate her for another award.

But Hollywood wants to believe that talent is more than skin deep, so they throw a bunch of nominations at the most beautiful actresses to prove to themselves, “See, it’s not just their bodies that we like! We appreciate their talent.” (See also: Scarlett Johansson.)

If we are going to live in a world where Sofia Vergara makes $175,000 an episode to mispronounce words and is considered one of the best actresses on television, and there’s every indication that we do live in this world, then we should treat her as such.

Hollywood doesn’t do that. Even if they pretend to respect an actress like Vergara, they will keep reminding the public that the actress is, at the end of the day, just eye candy. This fact was clearly demonstrated when Vergara was asked to step onto a pedestal for everyone to gawk at, like a window display at Macy’s. Never forget – Sofia Vergara has a nice butt.

After the Emmys, Vergara reportedly told Entertainment Weekly that she didn’t think the skit was sexist. “I think it’s absolutely the opposite,” she said. “It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself.” I disagree, Sofia. You were told to dance, monkey, and dance you did.

The offensive skit received heat from the feminist Twitterverse, echoing these sentiments. This is probably one of the few times I will agree with the Jezebel-ites:

Taking into consideration how boring the 2014 Emmys were otherwise (a joke about MTV not playing music videos? You’re better than that, Seth Myers), it’s not hard to see NBC picking the Mannequin Vergara stunt just to get people to actually talk about the award show.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: using sexy women to get your attention since 1946. To answer your question Sofia, yes, this is how they do it on American television.

— Christine Sisto is an editorial associate at National Review Online.

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