America Ferrera Praises ‘Barbie’ Representation, Next Generation of Latina Actresses at Critics Choice Awards

America Ferrera Praises ‘Barbie’ Representation, Next Generation of Latina Actresses at Critics Choice Awards

America Ferrera was honored with the prestigious #SeeHer Award at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, and the actress delivered a powerful and inspiring speech about the importance and impact of representation.

After Barbie star and executive producer Margot Robbie introduced Ferrera and presented her with the honor, the actress beamed as she opened up about the true significance of the award for her.

“I’m deeply thankful to you for this acknowledgement and this honor,” she said. “Receiving the #SeeHer Award for my contributions to more authentic portrayals of women and girls couldn’t be more meaningful to me, because I grew up as a first generation Honduran-American girl in love with TV, film and theater, who desperately wanted to be a part of a storytelling legacy that I could not see myself reflected in.”

“Of course, I could feel myself in characters who were strong and complex, but these characters rarely, if ever, looked like me,” she continued. “I yearned to see people like myself on screen as full humans. When I started working over 20 years ago, it seemed impossible that anyone could make a career portraying fully dimensional Latina characters.”

“But because of writers, directors, producers and executives who were daring enough to rewrite outdated stories and challenge deeply entrenched biases, I and some of my Latina colleagues, have been supremely blessed to bring to life some fierce and fantastic women,” Ferrera continued, to cheers from the crowd.

Ferrera also shouted out the upcoming generation of Latina actresses that she hopes to have inspired, including her on-screen daughter in Barbie, Ariana Greenblatt, as well as Jenna Ortega and Selena Gomez.

Additionally, the celebrated actress shared that, because of efforts to expand representation and diversity, young women can now see themselves reflected on screen, and that “this is the best and highest usage of story telling.”

“To affirm one another’s full humanity. To uphold the truth that we are all worthy of being seen,” she shared. “Black, brown, indigenous, Asian, trans, disabled, any body-type, and any gender — we are all worthy of having our lives richly and authentically reflected.”

She also shared special thanks to Robbie, for taking on the role and the film with such determination, and director/co-writer Greta Gerwig, for “proving, through your mastery as a filmmaker, that women’s stories have no difficulty achieving cinematic greatness and box office history at the same time.”

“And that unabashedly telling female stories does not diminish your powers, it expands them!” she added. “Your mind, talent and heart inspire us all. Thank you for asking me to be your Gloria.”

ET’s Deidre Behar spoke with Robbie on the red carpet ahead of the show, and she opened up about getting the chance to present Ferrera with the #SeeHer Award.

“Any chance to say nice things about America, and be there when she gets to celebrate a moment where she’s being recognized, is a true thrill for me,” Robbie marveled. “So I’m so excited for her. She deserves it.”

The 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards aired Sunday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on The CW. Check out for all the coverage, as well as a full list of the night’s big winners!


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