Update (November 11, 2020): Actress and activist Eva Longoria apologized on-air for her comments this weekend about the role Black women played in bringing out voters for the Nov. 3 election.
Longoria appeared on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show The ReidOut and profusely apologized for trying to downplay the role of Black women in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
.@EvaLongoria: "In my effort to celebrate Latina turnout, I diminished the importance of the Black women's vote in this election. And what I said was wrong.
It is a fact that African American women showed up in record numbers and brought us to victory. They saved this country." pic.twitter.com/wbO30cFRlj
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) November 11, 2020
"In my effort to celebrate Latina turnout, I diminished the importance of the Black women's vote in this election. And what I said was wrong. It is a fact that African American women showed up in record numbers and brought us to victory. They saved this country," Longoria told Reid.
She said she was exhausted when she appeared on MSNBC and did not mean to denigrate Black women while she lauded the work of Latina women.
“I recognize the harm that my words caused and if we’ve learned anything from this administration, it's that words matter. So I take full responsibility for that mistake because I want everybody to know that we stand on the shoulders of Black women who always show up. Black women have carried us for decades when it comes to civic engagement,” Longoria said.
“And I get that there’s a collective exhaustion and hurt at feeling erased yet again, and I contributed to that pain in a moment where Black women should have been lifted up, not erased. I failed to do that. This is what an uncomfortable moment looks like and I can only show up and be better and do better and that's what I'm doing,” she added.
Responses to her apology were mixed. One person said it was understandable to mess up while on live TV while another said the comments reflected how Longoria truly felt about Black women.
“Honorable and classy. As someone who has not always articulated my thoughts as clearly as I intended on live tv, I appreciate how hard this can be. Almost everyone in here saying this was unforgivable and she said exactly what she meant has never done a live tv interview. Trust. That is all,” said New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones on Twitter.
Honorable and classy. As someone who has not always articulated my thoughts as clearly as I intended on live tv, I appreciate how hard this can be. https://t.co/YGF7a3hPgA
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) November 11, 2020
Others were far less forgiving.
“Listen…. when are we gonna learn that everything isn’t forgivable? She articulated perfectly exactly what she meant. She came on set with clear intentions on what she’d say, & she didn’t stutter. Take it for exactly what it is; erasure,” one Twitter user wrote.
Original (November 9, 2020): For the past week, many online and in the media have been lauding the painstaking work of Black women in Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania for helping to push the swing states in favor of president-elect Joe Biden.
During her speech on Saturday night, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris specifically shouted out Black women, telling the millions watching that Black women are often overlooked yet "so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy."
But actress Eva Longoria took a much different view of the situation. In an interview on MSNBC Sunday night, Longoria went out of her way to compare the work of Latina women and Black women, telling host Ari Melber that Latina women "are the real heroines."
“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 of 3-to-1," Longoria said when asked about the role women played in Biden's win.
As one would expect, this did not go over well. Online, people of all ethnicities criticized the actress for trying to make it a competition and for trying to downplay the pivotal work of countless Black women.
Backlash to her statement was swift, the 45-year-old quickly released a statement where she said her comments were being misunderstood.
"Black women have long been the backbone of the Democratic Party, something we have seen played out in this election as well as previous ones. Black women absolutely should be applauded and lifted up! They brought this victory home in a BIG way!" Longoria wrote on Twitter.
"I was comparing Latinas to Latino men. Not black women. I meant Latinas were the ones who showed up for our LatinX community. Finally, Black women don’t have to do it alone. Latina women and other women of color are standing with them and growing their voice and power. Together we are unstoppable!!! Black women turned out 90% for Biden. I as a Latina, aspire to be as engaged as effective as they are!" she added.
She later wrote a longer iOS press release where she said she meant to highlight that Latina women were turning out more than Latino men, and did not mean to downplay the work of Black women.
Please read ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/KO80U2yarD
— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) November 9, 2020
Longoria's friend, actress Kerry Washington, vouched for her in another Twitter post.
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
But the apologies did little to quell the anger online.
Eva Longoria just embodied one of the many barriers in the way of WOC unity – the desire to bring attention away from and size up the efforts of Black women. A core of antiblackness is the sense that Black women are underserving – even a little attention, is "too much."
— Sierra (@sierrasviews) November 9, 2020
Others pointed out that not only were Longoria's comments offensive, they were untrue. Exit polling data shows that 91% of Black women voted for Biden and Harris while 70% of Latina women did the same.
Also, it isn't even factually accurate. 91% of Black women voted for Biden. 91%.
Yes 70% of Latinas voted for Biden as well but the big point is that Black women led the charge. Being dismissive of it and also relegating it to Georgia too is just wrong. pic.twitter.com/81Q7MDZFb4
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) November 9, 2020
????????movie ????????stars ????????should ????????not ????????be ???????? leaders ????????in ????????politics. see Donald trump. We should be elevating all of the BIPOC women’s voices who actually do the work and aren’t given a platform based on movie money.
— Israel S. Chávez,Esq. (@IsraelchavezNM) November 9, 2020
Others questioned why Longoria couldn't tout the work of Latina women without being comparative.
I am never surprised at the casual frequency of which non-black Latinas can and do throw black women under the bus or try to diminish our impact. Pay that woman dust and let's keep it moving.
— kinsey clarke (@tinykinseyscale) 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
most of @evalongoria’s commentary was perfectly fine, except this quip right here. there is this pervasive need to minimize the work of black people in order to lift up the work of other communities, as if you’re jealous of the coverage that we get.
which… is not our fault. ???? https://t.co/dREtjvpBvD
— maybe: diane⁷ (@dianelyssa) November 9, 2020
Latinx people also criticized Longoria for what she said.
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
There were also some jokes about the comment as well.
Eva Longoria said n*ggas give her heebie jeebies.
— Wanna (@WannasWorld) November 9, 2020
Eva Longoria dismissing Black women turning a whole red ass state blue that hasn't been blue since Bill Clinton was in office and lying that Latinas being the real heroines when the data says otherwise
The anti-blackness leaped out on MSNBC pic.twitter.com/JQtmRSWs8H
— BlackWomenAreKryptoniteToGOP (@battletested5) November 9, 2020
Heard Eva Longoria remarks while watching MSNBC ( live). Didn't think her comments would age well about " real heroines, here" not surprised by the smoke she is getting. Easily could have just said "blacks did their thing & Latinos did their thing".. simple. #EvaLongoria
— ⟠ Peteza (@Mooie_89) November 9, 2020
why are we interviewing actors/singers regarding politics instead of experts??? no one is watching MSNBC for eva longoria
— Marcel (@mrclmptrs) November 9, 2020
The actress' comments are part of a larger wave of liberal backlash toward the Black women who delivered Democrats crucial victories in a number of swing states.
As Blavity previously reported, conservative Democrats have complained in recent days about their belief that protests against the police, led in part by Black women, fueled Republican attack ads against them.
Multiple conservative Democrats have criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar and other liberal women of color despite the massive wins they secured for the president-elect.