As she accepted her Best Actress trophy during last night’s Emmy Awards, Ugly Betty star, America Ferrara, said “I just wish that for everybody that they get to do what inspires them and inspires them to make a change in the world.”
And she’s been doing just that by taking projects like Ugly Betty, projects that make light and beautiful and funny the issue that’s helped turn this country into America, the ugly: immigration.
Unlike its rival comedy the Office, which includes immigrant characters who are ridiculed for their accents , nationality and other traits, Ugly Betty makes light of the immigrant without the denigrating the immigrant experience. Nominated for 11 Emmy’s, the show even includes a positive depiction of Betty’s undocumented immigrant father, Ignacio, whose plight is the subject of some of the series’ storytelling.
Bucking the anti-immigrant trend in pop culture (think gamers playing Resident Evil V blowing Mexican-accented zombies to smithereens), America the actress and Betty the Ugly beautify Ugly America, the country that took as its own the name of the beautiful continent that brought us Betty La Fea .