Washington, D.C. – The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), America’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, is making a plea to Colombia-born Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara to cool it a bit on her cartoonishly thick accent.
In an interview with a local ABC affiliate, vice-chair of the NCLR’s board of directors Victor Palencia elaborated on his organization’s position. “When I first watched [Modern Family], I thought to myself, ‘Well, this is crazy offensive.’ We all thought the accent was a poor fake. Seriously, how could it not be? It made Natalie Wood’s accent in Westside Story seem spot-on authentic!” (Editor’s note: Russian actress Natalie Wood, born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, portrayed a Puerto Rican in the Best Picture musical back before people got all huffy about that sort of thing.)
“All we’re asking is for her to take it from here,” continues Mr. Palencia, holding his hand high above his head, “and bring it down to about here,” lowering his hand to eye-level. “We’re concerned that it’s just too easy to parody. What was once an offensive caricature is now just a ‘Sofia Vergara impression.’ I mean, does she have to spend three seconds on every vowel sound she makes? How about just saying ‘No’ instead of ‘NoooOOOOoooo’?”
The NCLR also posted a link to an online petition on the homepage of its website asking Ms. Vergara to gringo-up a bit. As of press time, the petition had over 30 thousand signees, including curiously familiar names like “Penélope C.” and “Selma H.”