America Ferrera was applauded by the crowd at the 2024 Critics’ Choice Awards for her powerful acceptance speech.
The “Barbie” star was honored with the SeeHer Award, which is given each year to a woman “who advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes, and pushes boundaries,” per the organization.
“Receiving the See Her Award for my contributions to more authentic portrayals of women and girls is so incredibly 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,” America told the audience.
“Of course, I could feel myself in characters who were strong and complex, but these characters rarely, if ever, looked like me. I yearned to see people like myself onscreen as full humans,” she continued.
America said that over the past decades, more “deeply layered Latina characters” have been shown onscreen thanks to the writers, producers and executives with the courage to “rewrite outdated stories and challenge deeply entrenched biases.”
“To me, this is the best and highest use of storytelling: to affirm one another’s full humanity. To uphold the truth that we are all worthy of being seen: Black, brown, indigenous, Asian, trans, disabled, any body type, any gender – we are all worthy of having our lives richly and authentically reflected,” she said as the audience broke into applause and cheers.
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America went on to thank “Barbie” producer and star Margot Robbie and director and co-writer Greta Gerwig, both of whom she said she would not be receiving this award without.
“You saw value in ‘Barbie,’ an entirely female idea that most would have dismissed as too girly, too frivolous, or just too problematic, but you had the courage and the vision to take it on,” she told Margot.
America then said to Greta, “Thank you for proving through your incredible 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 also thanked co-writer Noah Bambach, producers Tom Ackerley and David Heyman, and star Ryan Gosling “for being man enough to support women’s work.”
America additionally gave a sweet shoutout to her husband Ryan Piers Williams.
“You see me and my dreams, and you believe and support them as if they were your own. I love you,” she gushed.
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