Gina Rodriguez Has A Response To Haters & Bullies

Photo: MediaPunch/REX USA.
Recent headlines have found Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez squaring off against bullies. “Bully tells Gina Rodriguez her heritage is a ‘marketing tool.’ Here's her awesome response,” read a recent HelloGiggles post. “Gina Rodriguez Schools Bullies On Social Media Hate, Is A Queen,” the Huffington Post wrote over the summer.

But Rodriguez, who is part of CustomInk’s Be Good To Each Other anti-bullying campaign, is still figuring out how best to fight back.

“When I am [confronted] with negativity, it throws me off a little bit and I have yet to discover the best way to combat it. But, what I have found to be very successful is to humanize my journey and to humanize my situation for others that believe that I am untouchable, believe that I am not affected by someone’s comments or affected by untruths,” Rodriguez tells Refinery29. As for that recent incident — when someone said she was using her Latino heritage as “marketing” — she would very much like to correct that misconception. “For him to say that I use my Hispanic heritage as a marketing tool — business-wise, it wouldn’t be the most strategic thing to do, sadly, in this day and age,” she says.

Rodriguez is in production on Jane The Virgin's second season, but she’s still working on her upcoming book, I Can and I Will: Tools My Daddy Gave Me, based on lessons she learned from her father. But growing up, she wasn’t as conscious about the perils of internet haters as she is now.

“I was never aware of the effects of bullying until I got older and saw it in my nieces and nephews and in my cousins, until I saw the way social media had changed and actually made it more accessible to be cruel,” she says. “I’m 31. When I was younger, if somebody said something nasty, you’d be like, 'Do you want to take it to the playground? Like, put up your dukes.' Now, people can go online and really destroy a human being and destroy somebody’s heart and the way they perceive themselves. That can be more detrimental and more damaging. The access to so many people and the access to no filter is something we have to tackle as a group.”

As part of the CustomInk campaign, Rodriguez is one of a group of celebrities who have designed t-shirts, proceeds of which will benefit PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Jane The Virgin returns Oct. 12.

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