In an attempt to make an Emmy Award segment more interesting, Sofia Vergara stood on a spinning platform center stage flaunting her curves while president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Bruce Rosenblum delivered her annual speech, USA Today reported.
The gag drew immediate backlash from people on Twitter as well as from some news sites, calling it sexist and misogynistic.
"The Emmys took a very troubling turn with a bit that presented Sofia Vergara's body as evidence that TV throughout the years has known how to present viewers with 'something compelling to look at,' wrote Lily Karlin of Huffington Post about the gag.
Jezebel's Kara Brown, on the other hand, said in her write-up that the 42-year-old actress "was treated like a literal object," while Daniel D'Addario of Salon called it a "bizarre, objectifying Emmy moment."
A lot of people watching at home also felt the same way, and they took to Twitter to slam the segment.
"Wow. Could that Sofia Vergara bit been any more gratuitously sexist? #Emmys," wrote one Twitter user.
"'Always giving the viewers something compelling to watch' - and incredibly sexist. And that was the head of the Academy. Pathetic," tweeted another user on the microblogging site.
"Dear Academy President: Sofia Vergara is not a prize from the Price Is Right," former editor of People magazine's website Janet Mock tweeted.
Some people even compared the stunt to Beyonce's 16-minute performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday, Aug. 24, where the "Crazy in Love" hitmaker was dancing in front of the word "FEMINIST."
"That Sofia Vergara bit was offensive. Remember last night when this was on TV? #Emmys #VMAs," commented one viewer on Twitter.
Another Twitter user wrote, "So last night, Beyonce shows her talent. Tonight, the #emmys show us Sophia Vergara's boobs. Great."
The "Modern Family" actress, however, blasted critics who called her gag sexist.
When asked whether she finds the stunt sexist and humiliating, Vergara told Entertainment Weekly backstage: "I think it's absolutely the opposite. 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."
It is currently unclear who the actress was referring to has having started the backlash.
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