One of the most indelible images from last night's VMA awards was Beyoncé, midway through a show-stopping 16-minute medley, standing alone on stage with the word "FEMINIST" emblazoned in giant letters behind her. It was a bold and empowering feminist tableau — one that was undercut the following evening by this tone-deaf segment from last night's Emmys, which featured Sofia Vergara being spun around on a pedestal like a a human trophy. Because she's a woman, get it?
People were, understandably, not so happy about it:
This whole spinning platform Sofia Vergara thing is borderline 1950. Just sayin' #Emmys2014— Chris Jancelewicz (@CJancelewicz) August 26, 2014
Dear Academy President: Sofia Vergara is not a prize from the Price Is Right. #Emmys— Janet Mock (@janetmock) August 26, 2014
no, no, no you are not making this joke where sofia vergara turns on a rotating platform like a car no no no— Jessica Goldstein (@jessicagolds) August 26, 2014
Was the joke that Sofia Vergara is a woman? What year is this? #Emmys— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) August 26, 2014
"What a wonderful time for women on television," said Julianna Marguilies in her speech. Did she see the Sofia Vergara platform bit? #Emmys— Adrian Lee (@AdrianKLee) August 26, 2014
I don’t need fimesm because Sofia Vergara was just treated like a literal human statue for us to ogle performance art is amazing #emmys— WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 26, 2014
What Sofia Vergara just did is more upsetting than any of what the ladies at the VMA's have done :( #Emmys— Sara Schaefer (@saraschaefer1) August 26, 2014
On the plus side, the Vergara bit has magically united everyone in my Twitter feed in mutual sorrow and shame.— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) August 26, 2014
Good to know that Sofia Vergara is always game for something overtly sexist and kinda racist! #Emmys— Doree Shafrir (@doreeshafrir) August 26, 2014
The bizarre segment came shortly after Stephen Colbert's acceptance speech in which he thanked his writing staff by saying: "I’m so proud of those guys — and one woman. Sorry for that, for some reason."
Ugh. C'mon, Emmys. We expected better.