Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has quickly become one of young Hollywood’s rising stars and her speech at Variety’s Unite4Humanity Benefit after winning the Young Humanitarian award.
Rodriguez stated “I can’t lie, among the many emotions of pride and honor and appreciation for this, I also can’t help but feel like I shouldn’t be accepting this award alone”
Rodriguez went onto describe her life growing up in “the hood” of Chicago with hard-working parents. How her father helped workers in their union fights for equality and her mother cooked for everyone in the neighborhood. Rodriguez went on to say that her parents would father neighborhood children to paint gradient and clean up the streets of their neighborhood.
She continued, “That the more you help others succeed, you too will succeed. This isn’t an award I worked towards, unlike acting on Jane the Virgin. You know, like, this is me. This is my heart.”
And then, she finally painted a vision of what Hollywood could look like if everyone cared more:
I love what-ifs. What if I book a show? What if I win a Golden Globe? Or what if we lived in a world where booking a show and getting a Golden Globe was just an excuse to do good for others? Confession — that’s the world I’m trying to create. A place where Oscar winners eradicate homelessness. A place where Grammy winners help provide and contribute to curing cancer. A place where we all leverage our social currency to do something that truly matters. Adopt children that need homes, finance tuition for kids that don’t have the money to go to college, the list goes on. It’s a world where the true reward is giving.
Rodriguez won her Golden Globe and shot to stardom as the titular character in Jane the Virgin in 2015. As a response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, she started #MovementMondays to highlight Latino actors and actresses who deserve praise.
Rodriguez ended the speech by saying that the award is really for her parents. “They’ve never been recognized for all the good they do, they taught me to share this with the world. Good is the food that I give my heart and I thank you mom and dad for teaching me that.”
This isn’t the first time Rodriguez has used a public platform to speak about the influence of her parents. She spoke about her father’s encouragement from a young age when she won her Golden Globe in January 2015.
You and watch Gina’s Variety Unite4Humanity benefit speech here and let us know your thoughts on Gina’s new standard for Hollywood – @CelebMix