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At the Emmys on Monday night, Sofia Vergara participated in what many critics called a sexist gag. The Modern Family actress posed on a slowly rotating pedestal — like the ones used to show off cars — that displayed her curves in full for the audience as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Bruce Rosenblum gave a dull speech. He ended the bit by saying, “What truly matters is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch.”

Critics condemned the sketch as sexist. “It does a disservice to Vergara’s skills as an actress and comedian to pretend — even in a self-conscious way — like she’s just a body,” Sarah Begley wrote in TIME. “Sure, it was self-aware – but a self-aware wink doesn’t work like a get-out-of-jail-free card.”

But Vergara defended the skit to Entertainment Weekly after the show. “I think its absolutely the opposite [of demeaning]. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it’s ridiculous that somebody started this—I know who she was—who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a little bit.”

Vergara didn’t say who she thought “started” the criticism. But it seems like critiques from fans, celebrities and writers hit Twitter immediately as the skit began:


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Write to Eliana Dockterman at

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