Calls to “cancel” actress Eva Longoria emerged after she deemed Latinas the “real heroines” of the 2020 election, with many accusing her of belittling black women and black Americans by perpetuating an “anti-black” narrative.
“The women of color showed up in big ways. Of course, you saw in Georgia what Black women have done, but Latina women are the real heroines here beating men in turnout in every state and voting for Biden-Harris at an average rate close to three to one,” the Desperate Housewives star said during an appearance on MSNBC.
“And that wasn’t surprising to use because Latinas are the CEOs of the households. They make all the financial decisions and healthcare decisions and educational decisions. Many Latinas are small business owners and they wanted a plan for recovery for themselves — not for Wall Street. Trump’s policies were never aimed at the struggling Latina community,” Eva Longoria said who campaigned for Joe Biden in Kissimmee, Florida, in October.
Eva Longoria to @AriMelber on the impact of Latina women: “That spirit and perseverance that Latinas use in their daily life, the struggle to pay their bills and the struggle to show up to their jobs … that’s the same perseverance and spirit they used to show up to the polls,” pic.twitter.com/BiATbXbaeG
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 9, 2020
Longoria’s comments prompted a mountain of backlash across social media.
“And THIS is why I don’t linger in the ‘people of color’ group that society has been boxing us into. Give them a chance & they never miss the opportunity to minimize the efforts and accomplishments of Black people,” one user responded. “We are not the same. How dare she.”
“yal can cancel Eva Longoria if you want to and RIGHTFULLY SO but I will not cancel Desperate Housewives,” another added, encouraging people to “dragggg her.”
“Black women overwhelmingly voted Biden, Latinas did not and especially not Latino men. That comment about Latinas being ‘the real heroine’ was very unnecessary,” another said.
Longoria issued an apology in response to the backlash.
“I’m so sorry and sad to hear that my comments on MSNBC could be perceived as taking credit from Black women,” she said in a statement. “When I said that Latinas were heroines in this election, I simply meant that they turned out in greater numbers and voted more progressively than LATINO MEN.”
“There is such a history in our community of anti-Blackness in our community and I would never want to contribute to that, so let me be very clear,” Longoria continued, referring to black women as the longtime “backbone of the Democratic Party” and concluding that they “don’t have to do it alone any longer.”
Please read 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/KO80U2yarD
— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) November 9, 2020
Scandal actress Kerry Washington attempted to defend Longoria, whom she described as a “sister,” but the firestorm continued to rain down.
I know Eva like a sister. We have been in many trenches together. She is a fighter for all women. Read below. This is what she meant. This is how she truly feels. https://t.co/PcDNhLc1LK
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 9, 2020
Nope. Not only did you call Latinas the “REAL heroines,” but you CIRCLED BACK to make sure you made the point. And now, to deflect from your anti-black sentiment, you’re gaslighting us by telling us that we didn’t hear what we heard. You’re a disappointment.
— Akilah Green (@akilahgreen) November 9, 2020
Eva Longoria invented a contest where there was none, and then managed to lose it. All at once. This was as perplexing as it was dismissive. https://t.co/jARNAnyO6W
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 9, 2020
You knew exactly what you were doing & you said what you said. You tried to confine what black women did for this election strictly to Georgia and then called Latina’s the “real” heroines. Which statistics show that’s a lie.
— Alissa Ashley (@AlissaAshley) November 9, 2020
“Women of color showed up in big ways. Of course, you saw in Georgia what Black women have done but Latina women are the *real* heroines here.” – Eva Longoria, what?pic.twitter.com/8m8aFd0ZnT
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 9, 2020
We are all immersed in the sickness of white supremacy. All of us need to detoxify this poison. Eva, you do too.
It’s the poison we’ve all been marinated in. Detoxify yourself!
That was just gross!
— Welansa Asrat, MD (@Dr_Asrat) November 9, 2020
This was just so unnecessary. Like why even feel compelled to downplay the work of Black women to uplift Latinas.
— Oni #BraylaStone Blackstock (@DrOniBee) November 9, 2020
Not even a full week and Anti-Black feminist brigade is working overtime.
Please don’t let the @EvaLongoria & @hereisgina’s of the world diminish the work you’ve done.
Black Women has always been the blueprint. pic.twitter.com/7CGvH4bKsV
— Extension of Nia Long (@ScottieBeam) November 9, 2020
This is not okay @EvaLongoria.
-saying Black and Latina women as if they are 2 separate categories is erasure of Afrolatinas
-saying yeah Black Women did a lot BUT Latinas are the REAL heroes is both wrong and foul.
And a lot of our folks went for 45. We need to deal with that https://t.co/yUklPPvWbR
— Daniel José Older he/him (@djolder) November 9, 2020
You can talk about Latinas without dismissing the work of Black women as you did in this clip, @EvaLongoria. To have Kamala Harris talk just last night about Black women being overlooked and then see you do that _the next day_ … https://t.co/tXkdnz2ROh
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) November 9, 2020
I do not, do not, do not understand why @EvaLongoria needs to frame “the real heroes” being Latina in a juxtaposition with Black women. There are SEVERAL things wrong with this. This is not a competition (which if it was, we would lose, hello our 25%). This isn’t solidarity. https://t.co/iYoujMWcd5
— Karla Monterroso (@karlitaliliana) November 9, 2020
Not how one builds solidarity. We didn't see what Longoria said but still… that quote is so problematic. https://t.co/Z0cuRDZ1cp
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) November 9, 2020
Backlash aside, it was actually President Trump who made inroads with the Latino community, as was seen in Florida. Even the New York Times identified the demographic as “the second-largest voting group for the first time this year.”