America Ferrera says Gossip Girl “conditions us to be mean”

America Ferrera has made some pretty bold statements about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants costar Blake Lively’s show Gossip Girl. Ferrera claims shows like that emphasize a catty, competitive, bitchy nature between women and completely discount the loving, supportive bonds many have with one another. Though she’s right, it also seems like that statement has a tinge of hypocrisy, in that criticizing your supposed friend’s show for it is a little harsh in the first place.

America Ferrera isn’t a fan of The Hills or Gossip Girl. “Close, genuine female relationships are not what generally gets depicted in movies and TV shows,” she says in the October issue of Seventeen. “Like, if you’re watching The Hills or 90210, all the backstabbing shapes the way we act – you go to school, and you think your job is to find a sworn enemy and be jealous of each other,” she goes on.

Adds Ferrera, 24: “I mean, I love Blake [Lively], she’s a wonderful friend of mine, but shows like Gossip Girl kind of condition us to be mean.”

But working with Lively, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies was “one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had with girl relationships,” she says. Before meeting them she says, “I was like, ‘I’m just going to show up to work and be professional – not their best friend… But a couple of weeks into shooting, Amber and I started talking,” Ferrera tells Seventeen. “She’s a hippie, and I thought we had nothing in common – and now she’s one of my closest friends!”

[From Us Weekly]

I wholeheartedly agree with everything America said, and frankly while it’ll probably make things a little awkward between her and Blake, I think having the guts to say that is sorta worth it. She wasn’t disrespectful and was honest and concise. Ugly Betty is fun but not overt trash like some of the other shows Ferrera mentioned.

Whenever I read an interview with America it’s clear that she’s whip smart, very opinionated, and well-spoken. I think her comments were pretty fair everything considered, and she made her point without being mean-spirited.

Here’s America on the set of Ugly Betty in Central Park yesterday. Images thanks to Fame.

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19 Responses to “America Ferrera says Gossip Girl “conditions us to be mean””

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  1. Mrs.Darcy says:

    I think this statement is ridiculous and unfair – Gossip Girl is harmless, trashy fun and despite what Ferrara says does have at its base friendships -albeit duplicitous ones where people betray each other usually for the opposite sex! – but that’s not far off from many teenage social realities! I used to watch 90210 and Melrose Place, it’s called watching television, it had no more influence on my life than Twin Peaks did, I just think Ferrara is pissed Blair is getting all the attention now, it’s quite catty of HER when her own show relies on the bitchiness of most of its main characters for its humour.

  2. whatevs says:

    Good for her for speaking her mind, but it’s a prime-time soap opera, what does she expect? People don’t live their lives by what’s on tv. I grew up watching soaps and similar trash like that and I’m fine. Regardless of tv shows, girls are still going to be jealous, mean, and catty. It’s up to the parents to teach them to not be so bitchy to each other. It’s only entertainment after all.

  3. Heidi says:

    And Marilyn Manson music makes kids shoot up schools, puh-lease!

    I remember when she was promoting TSOTTP 2 w/Blake Lively & the reporter asked Blake a question pertaining to Gossip Girl & all the meanwhile America was playing w/her hands, rolling her eyes, & making obvious facial expressions making it obvious as to how she feels about the show.

    Ugly Betty is all about backstabbing, ‘bitchyness’ & so on & so on. How hypocrytical of her!

  4. santacruz says:

    Thinking people are not influenced by the negative stereotypes on the media, they see it for what it is …. a bit of escapism…however, too many believe and live what they see, often due to immaturity… this is evidenced in our schools and community… a case of life immitating art.

  5. paris herpes says:

    Also she forgot to mention the fact that most of the young female cast in 90210 are probably anorexic. There’s a definite stereotype within the show that assumes that all girls growing up in L.A. are thin because everyone around them is thin (i.e. celebs, actresses, models, etc). But these girls are almost painfully thin, whereas in the original 90210 I barely noticed anyone was very thin, besides Tori Spelling. I think it’s damaging in terms of its competitiveness to be this thin and wreck havoc on young girls imaginations that in order to be loved that you need to look a certain way. At least Ugly Betty goes against this assumption even though it’s not much better in terms of trashiness, at least it’s a show combating certain stereotypes…

  6. WhatAboutOurDaughters? says:

    Wow, America’s being catty because Blake’s show is getting more attention. People love Gossip Girl because it’s a guilty pleasure. People like Ugly Betty because it’s silly or they like fashion. Maybe she’s jealous because Blake’s character is glamorous and buzzworthy, while Betty is sweet but definitely not edgy.

    I prefer GG. S and B have a really solid friendship.They’re like sister. But of COURSE they were catty for half of the first season. S betrayed B. Once they got over it, right as rain. Just like C and N.

  7. tl says:

    Yeah, Heidi, I remember that interview too! I couldn’t believe how rude and unprofessional America was being. I mean, it’s fine if you don’t like something (or someone) but to roll your eyes in a completely obvious way at your costar in a TV interview? SO bitchy.

  8. vdantev says:

    That’s pretty much all American media; keep us divided, keep us selfish, keep us stupid, keep us fearful and subdued. It’s divide and conquer. You don’t have to worry about a populace arming itself and taking the streets to fight back against an out-of-control government if they are all at home too xenophobic to meet, and too interested in the new shiny thing on the market, or the latest salacious titillating scandal (fictional or otherwise). There is no liberal or conservative media bias, that’s just bullshit people believe because some bit of reality doesn’t coincide with their precious little feelings, there’s just a general bias against the public. We’re just wallets to be emptied and minds to be manipulated as it suits the needs of those in charge.

  9. Kimmyg says:

    Oh please, like Ugly Bethy isn’t filled with backstabbing assholes in the workplace. The bottom line is that IT IS A DAMN TELEVISION show! What’s a storyline without an evil character or plot planned? Just like Ugly Betty has that Vanessa Williams chick, Gossip Girl has crazy bitches like Georgina. Shut up America Ferrera! I thought you were smarter than this!

  10. Shay says:

    Like Ugly Betty wouldn’t influence someone to be mean. Even some of the evil characters are likable.

  11. blaugrau says:

    Of course are these shows influencial! If you can’t see it, sorry, but you’re being naif. paris herpes made a good point with anorexic: girls are actually dying because they want to be thing, whose incluence is that? the family or the media, what they see in publicity and tv?

  12. Susan says:

    VERY TRUE!!!!!

    I see this behavior in my 10 year old daughter’s friends — 5th graders. They are mean girls and sooooo young still.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I think America is an intelligent, well-spoken woman and she does make a solid point. Younger girls are being taught to be b*tches. For anyone that said she is just “jealous” of Lively’s success, grow up. You sound like an idiot.

  14. Tanille says:

    I’m a fan of both Ugly Betty , Gossip Girl and 90210, but i would never go out a mimic what i see on TV. I watch shows like Gossip Girl because i love the drama but I’m not the type of person to act like a bitch just because some shows portray females like that. Theres also quite a bit of back stabbing and bitchiness on Ugly Betty too. But good for her for speaking her mind, everyone has their own opinions.

  15. The Old KC says:

    Paris herpes – you sure are articulate and well-spoken to have a site name like Paris herpes. I suppose therein lies the point! Brilliant…Anyways, I also caught the clip Heidi mentioned, but I caught it on the Soup. I thought it was hilarious. America looked like a jealous, petty high school girl. Just like the attitude she is railing against. Maybe the problem was that she actually watched Gossip Girl and the mean-pox rubbed off on her.

  16. Lullabye says:

    I myself, I don’t think this really effects older teenagers and adults. Because our minds have already matured and we should know from whats wrong or right. Although, there are many young girls (keep in mind she is talking about school girls here) that watch these shows because they want to be older at such a young age. There are 8 year old girls watching these shows now, because they want to LEARN to be a “real girl”.

    Now, something that concerns me is that most television shows are like this, but when we were younger we had a more verity of characters and their personalities. We were able to at least choose who we liked and who we didn’t. In these shows, mostly everyone does back stab each other or just behave in a selfish immature way (doesn’t mean I don’t like the shows, I do). As far as “Ugly Betty” I love her show (I like the original better) and there are more choices as to who to choose.

    But I guess that she is talking about GIRLS watching the show not WOMEN or LADIES. There’s a difference there, our brains don’t mature until a certain age and when we’re young we usually do do the “Monkey sees monkey do” kind of things. Just go to a regular Jr. High school or even an elementary and you’ll see how the girls are behaving.

    Also, America being “jealous” of Blake’s success. Let’s not forget that America does have a success and with whats she’s doing, I am more than sure that she is just happy with it. I’ve noticed that she loves to play the roles that are suited for her (that remind her or herself).

  17. Flo says:

    Sorry, but kids have always been competitive with one another. Those who blame this on the “media” are looking for an easy scapegoat. If anything, TV candy coats reality by usually having the mean girls lose out in the end.

  18. RAN says:

    Wow… must be a slow day – Dante has more than a one line post 8) Very interesting read Dante!

  19. I use to watch Gossip girl but it was not entertaining as other TV shows. But I think this TV show is for girls mostly who like chit-chat all day non-stop.