The actresses star in the new animated film “Small Foot,” and in a recent interview on ‘Extra Butter” as they promoted the fantasy/musical about a friendly Yeti who discovers a human, the topic of inspiring Black women came up.
“You are just goals for so many young black women,” says Global Grind contributing reporter Xilla Valentine as he addresses the “Grown-ish” actress.
“So many women. Women,” Rodriguez interjects.
“Yeah, for women too,” Valentine agrees. “But for Black women, we need people on a whole ‘nother level. How does that feel for you to be so young just be like a role model for so many people?”
Shahidi answered by saying she appreciates the support for her being herself.
“It’s amazing because I get to part of such an amazing and thoughtful and brilliant community,” she adds. “So it’s easy to be constantly motivated and inspired.”
But several Twitter users took issue with Rodriguez and inferred that she tried to erase Black women’s impact.
“I love Gina, you could have pointed out all the strides she’s making for Hispanics but she did need to realize that right now (in this climate )black women need to be individually uplifted too.”
“She quickly shot that down. Society has a hard time uplifting BLACK WOMEN SOLELY. There always has to be inclusion of other women yet we’re often the hidden figures in their success.”
“Why is it that Gina always feels the need to cry ‘all women’ when black women are being uplifted but not Latinx women?”
Yet Valentine himself agreed with one Twitter user that he didn’t feel the “Jane the Virgin” actress was intending to do any harm.
“It felt like she was tryna give her further props when it comes to her range of influence, but yes, Yara has been one the most consistent poster children for young black excellence,” @TooManeStream said.
“Yeah. I don’t think it was malicious,” the independent journalist agreed.