We think it’s clear that Gina Rodriguez deserves all the awards. The Jane the Virgin star makes us cry on a regular basis with her portrayal of Jane, but she also seems like a genuinely good person who uses her platform for elevating others. That’s especially apparent now that Rodriguez has convinced CBS TV Studios to take the money that would normally be spent on For Your Consideration events for Jane and instead using it to establish a four-year college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Tuesday. Although Rodriguez and Jane the Virgin will throw their hats into the proverbial ring for award season as they head into the fourth and penultimate season of the CW dramedy, the star told THR that the money spent on FYC events would be better used elsewhere.
“Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” Rodriguez said. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”
The scholarship is going to a young woman from Los Angles bound for Princeton University. Rodriguez partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles to find the right applicant, and she said she feels “invigorated” by her decision to help this student.
“FYC is a bizarre dance. Whatever you do requires an insane amount of money,” Rodriguez said. “It’s taboo to talk about the money being spent, but it’s the reality. 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.”
Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her lead role on Jane the Virgin in 2015. Her speech highlighted the need for better Latino and Latina representation on-screen. In the years since, she’s used her Instagram (which boasts 2.6 million followers) to lift up creators of color each week, using the hashtag #MovementMondays.
We think it’s amazing that Rodriguez has chosen to use her platform in this way. We hope more stars will take up the mantle, especially now that Jane the Virgin is heading into its final episodes in seasons four and five. The series’ departure will leave big shoes to fill.