Though the Golden Globes are generally thought of as the Oscars’ drunker, weirder kid sister, last night’s show set itself apart from the Academy with its plethora of emotional, meaningful speeches. From Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway dedicating their award to Leelah Alcorn, to Michael Keaton’s loving, teary tribute to his son, the Globes got surprisingly inspirational last night. Yet, no one’s message was more heartfelt than Gina Rodriguez, the runaway star of Jane The Virgin. Rodriguez made waves last year by openly dicussing the way Hispanics are portrayed (or, more accurately, aren’t portrayed) in mainstream narratives, and last night, after she won her award, she reaffirmed what the recognition meant not just to, but to her entire minority.
“First and foremost, the nomination alone was a win for me because it allowed our culture — it allowed Latinas to see themselves in a beautiful light. It allowed them to see ourselves where we desired to be, and feel invited to the same party. So, for me, the win meant everything and a lot more than just me,” she said, after she received her statue. She continued, acknowledging that the win was more than just an award, but a sign of changing times. “If we can create an effect that shows Latinos like the investment bankers, doctors, lawyers that existed in my own home, I think that will change the way young girls and boys look at themselves. I think that’s needed, especially now, where we have dealt with Eric Garner and Michael Brown, where we are dealing with a society that is diverse, that is so beautiful and human. We all need to remember that we all have the same stories and see them as such.”
While TV still has much to do in terms of diverserity, last night was a great reminder that, believe it or not, change is happening. Says Rodriguez, “I am definitely part of a testament it is changing, it is something I get to experience every day. I think that networks are seeing when you step outside the door, it is a very diverse world. Some just tan better than others!”
The reason Jane works, believes Rodriguez, echoes what Maggie Gyllenhaal said last night: there aren’t just more roles for complex women on television, but roles for all sorts of women. “We come from all different cultures and religions, but one thing that is true is that the human story is what brings us all together. We all love and are afraid of failure, we all want to succeed, we all want to make dreams come true...I think it does something to a generation. I think it will do something to the next generation when they see themselves in that light. It has been awesome to see communities come out and give me their support. It is really empowering to see young girls feel like they see themselves on the screen, and if I can keep working at making sure that that happens, then God willing I can do it until the day I die.