Sofia Vergara has urged critics to stop hammering her for playing a stereotypical Colombian on TV comedy Modern Family, insisting her character is a proud Latino.
The actress, who plays colorful trophy wife Gloria on the hit show, has faced taunts for perpetuating Latino stereotypes by poking fun at her accent and her roots, but she insists it is important for someone like her to be on TV.
"What's wrong with being a stereotype?" she tells Hola! magazine. "Gloria's character is inspired by my mom and my aunt. They are both Latin women who grew up in Colombia, like me. They love color, prints and shoes... It upsets me when Latinos complain about Gloria.
"I am grateful for the opportunity (to play her) because the gringos (white Hollywood TV executives) have let me in with this strong accent I have. Eight years ago nobody had an accent like this on television."
Sofia came under fire for an unfortunate slip-up when she took to the stage at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month (Jan17) and said "anal" instead of "annual", while introducing Sylvester Stallone's daughters as Misses Golden Globes.
She kicked off her speech by saying, "Good evening, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has an anal tradition..."
Appearing nervous, Sofia continued: "I didn't mean... they have an anus tradition... They have a tradition that they do every year of choosing a second generation performer to assist in the presentation of the award to fulfill the duties of Miss Golden Globes..."
Viewers were quick to comment on the error, but many suggested it was a deliberate mistake.
Sofia also suggested it was a scripted 'bit', when she took to Instagram to share a picture of herself backstage, writing: "I look lonely back stage but I was just trying to come up with my anus joke hahhahha!!!!"