Um, WHAT? This story is a real lesson in fact-checking and using common sense.
Following Anya Taylor-Joy’s win for limited series/TV movie actress at the Golden Globes Sunday night, Variety was quick to post an article about the exciting moment, but readers noticed a shocking mention in the write-up. One Twitter user shared a screen grab (below), captioning the stunned post, “wait.”
In the pic, the Emma. star is described as, “the first woman of color to win this category since Queen Latifah in 2008 and only the fifth woman of color to win overall since 1982.” But as The Queen’s Gambit viewers — and, frankly, anyone with eyeballs — can clearly tell, the actress is certainly not a person of color, nor has she ever claimed to be!
The confusion likely comes from the fact that Anya is Latina given that she was raised in Argentina until she was about eight. Her first language was even Spanish. Born in Miami, Florida, the 24-year-old holds British, American, and Argentine citizenship. But, despite this global upbringing, it’s worth mentioning that her parents, Jennifer Marina Joy and Dennis Alan Taylor, aren’t people of color either! According to Wikipedia her mother is “of English and Spanish descent” despite being raised in Zambia, and her father is “an Argentine of Scottish heritage.”
It makes for a fascinating history which has exposed the actress to various cultures and languages her whole life, but does not a person of color make.
The initial tweeter continued, noting:
“In case this does numbers just want to stress this I don’t think this is ATJ’s fault lol”
He highlighted a second portion of the article which included the award winner very clearly describing reasons why she hesitates to identify as a Latin person in Hollywood, saying:
“Taylor-Joy identifies as Latina, but says she’s ‘very wary’ of auditioning for Latina roles. ‘I’m aware of the fact I don’t look like a typical Latin person, and that’s not fair,’ she says. ‘I don’t want to be someone that you can just snub in for that role when I’m really white and blonde.’”
Very well put! So, why did Variety decide to call her a person of color then??
Likely noticing the backlash, the outlet quickly changed the description to “first Latina to win in this category” and included that Anya “identifies as a white Latina.” A step in the right direction, but this mixup does warrant a discussion over the proper use of “person of color,” given the term (and acronym “POC”) has taken off among activists and social media influencers alike in an attempt to be politically correct. While we’re all here for calling out any and all historic wins for marginalized communities (because they soooo deserve recognition and representation within the entertainment industry, especially from the Hollywood Foreign Press right now), just like ATJ noted herself, it’s harmful to whitewash the victory of many other actual women of color.
Reactions, Perezcious readers??