When a network makes a campaign for its shows’ Emmy consideration, usually a hefty sum goes towards marketing materials like billboards, ads, and swag. Yet instead of utilizing Jane the Virgin‘s campaign money for those purposes, star Gina Rodriguez is awesomely changing things up by using that "For Your Consideration" (FYC) money to send a Latinx student to college.
"FYC is a bizarre dance," Rodriguez told The Hollywood Reporter, adding, "Whatever you do requires an insane amount of money." While Jane the Virgin deserves to get as much Emmy consideration as any other show, Rodriguez doesn’t seem to think that spending money on a campaign to sway Emmy voters to pick Jane is necessarily the best use of funding. Instead, she’d rather put that money towards helping an undocumented student get an education.
"Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community," Rodriguez told THR. "So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year." That something special in this case is a young woman who will attend Princeton University in the fall. According to THR, Rodriguez partnered with the program Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles to find the lucky scholarship recipient, a Princeton-bound woman who will be able to attend four years of the college using Jane the Virgin‘s FYC fund.
If this is the first time you’re even hearing about For Your Consideration money, you’re probably not alone. "It’s taboo to talk about the money being spent, but it’s the reality," Rodriguez explained to THR. Now that you know about the hefty sums of money that studios frequently toss over to showrunners to use for Emmy campaigns, you might start noticing more posters, Instagram pictures, and billboards that include the words, "For your consideration."
Rodriguez hopes that her unusual use of FYC money could influence others to follow her lead. "I think sharing this might inspire other people to do something similar. You can desire recognition and, at the same time, decide to not play in the confines of the game as it’s set up," the 33-year-old said.
And just because Rodriguez ended up deciding to re-allocate Jane the Virgin’s money for an Emmy campaign, that doesn’t mean the CW show won’t still get nominated for any awards. Emmy winners are chosen by the Television Academy, which the Emmys site states has over 22,000 members as of 2017. Those members are still welcome to nominate Rodriguez and the other cast and crew members of Jane for awards, and hopefully they will. Rodriguez has never earned an Emmy nomination for Jane before despite getting rave reviews for her performance, and it’s about time that changes.
Regardless of what happens, though, as Jane enters awards season for its penultimate season (the show’s final season will air in early 2019), Rodriguez is showing the world that she understands what really matters in the long run — giving back.
As a fierce activist for Latinx rights, it’s not a huge surprise that Rodriguez has chosen to forego the regular Emmy campaign. Time and time again, Rodriguez has chosen to take on acting roles and producer roles for films and TV shows that advance the representation of women, particularly Latinx women.
Rodriguez even owns a production company called I Can and I Will Productions, which has a few exciting projects on the horizon including an upcoming show called Femme. According to Variety, Femme will follow a group of millennial women who met on an online feminist group. There’s also another show in the works from Rodriguez’s company called Have Mercy, which focuses on a Latinx doctor navigating life in Miami as an immigrant.
So even if she doesn’t get an Emmy Award for Jane, Rodriguez clearly has a ton of great projects coming up. Besides, she already earned a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy in 2015, and she was nominated in the same category the following two years. It’s nice to know that Rodriguez has received some recognition for her work on Jane, even though she’s making a powerful statement that those awards aren’t her highest priorities by giving a scholarship to a deserving Latinx student.
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