“Orange Is the New Black” star Dascha Polanco is receiving backlash after social media accused the actress of shading the Black community in a tweet about Latinx snubs in this year’s Prime-Time Emmy nominations. While many were excited for the abundance of Black nominations, not all were applauding.
The drama ensued when actor John Leguizamo tweeted about the absence of Latinx actors and actresses in this year’s nominations. “Why can’t we Latinx have a piece of the pie?” the actor questioned. “We are the largest ethnic group in America and missing as if we didn’t exist!”
Polanco responded to the tweet, saying, “If its only us speaking up on it, no one cares. It’s the silence from those that fight for equality but only their equality,” the actress wrote. She added, “Diversity but Diverse enough to include thyself That mentality of ‘As long as I’m good; I don’t see a d—n thing.”
Many disagreed with Polanco’s comments, including “Pose” star Indya Moore who tweeted, “This is literally a pattern from us Dominicans…” before adding, “That needs to end its harmful and embarrassing sis.”
Moore’s reply seemingly referred to a long-standing debate about the Dominican community identifying as Black when it’s convenient.
Polanco later released a follow-up tweet clarifying her previous comments. “Guys when I speak of THOSE, thy I speak of the ppl in the positions of Power, decision maker I am such a high supporter of inclusion YES Finally we are seeing change,” the actress wrote. “That’s the silver lining and I celebrate it. TALK about it all the time… bts is where it need to start. [red heart emoji].”
However, when her recovery tweet still didn’t go over well with folks, primarily the Black community, Polanco took a verbal approach to the tune of a one-minute video posted to her Instagram page on Wednesday, July 29.
The “Russian Doll” actress began her video, saying, “It was not shading our Black community. Blackness is in my DNA as a Dominican, as an Afro-Latina, as a whole,” the actress explained. She added, “What I’m referring to is, we cannot sit here and say we are snubbed and write these articles and all these kinds of things when we ourselves are not doing our due diligence to create the work, to create the opportunities.”
Palonco’s video seemingly went left when the actress stated, “We can’t claim diversity but when you’re good, then everything else is okay.” The model concluded her video by saying “diversity” is also about pay gaps, positions, and “equality across the board.”
While the video was viewed over 100,000 times, it was not enough to stop the folks from correcting the actress’ remarks. One user advised the star to give more context next time. “I get it but during this climate that we’re in please try to add more context because it leads others to come up with their own interpretations,” they wrote, adding, “Black and brown people, lets try to understand where a person is coming from before attacking. We’re all human, so relax.”
Meanwhile, others weren’t so gentle with the star. One critic wrote, “Back pedaling. When you said ‘silence from others’ who were you referring too? And you agreed with John so don’t back pedal now.”
This year was historic for Black actors who made up 34.3 percent of this year’s nominations — a considerable increase from last year, where Black actors made up only 19.8 percent of the nominee pool.