“It only occurred to me in retrospect, when I signed on to play Amy in Justin Spitzer’s Superstore, it was the first part I’d ever been offered that hadn’t been written as Latina,” she wrote. “I never think of myself as a Latino person; I’m simply a person. And as an actor, I feel capable of inhabiting all kinds of roles and telling all kinds of stories.”
She goes on to mention how none of the roles in Superstore have any specified ethnicities, something you rarely see on television today.
“It thrilled me that it was being done in a way that wasn’t in any way token,” she says of Superstore. “It wasn’t about inserting the black character, or the sassy Latina chick, or the one-joke Asian dude. They went out and found funny people and cast them regardless of their skin color. But this is really rare.”
“And of course, when I stepped into the role of Amy, she became Latina because I’m Latina . . . it just wasn’t her only point of definition,” Ferrera says. “We’re all the sum of our experiences. I don’t know any people of color who go around thinking, ‘I’m going grocery shopping as a Latina,' or, ‘I’m going to read this book as an Asian person.'" Ferrera is one of a list of celebs who have opened up about the lack of diversity in the film and TV industry. Quite a few have spoken out about how Hollywood has remained overwhelmingly white, especially after this year’s Oscar nominees were announced. Check them out: