Aida Rodriguez opens up about her ‘cathartic’ comedy special, colorism in the industry and more

Rodriguez expresses she is ‘proud of her Afro-indigenous roots.’

On the latest episode of theGrio‘s Acting Up podcast, comedian and actress Aida Rodriguez opened up to Cortney Wills about her new special Fighting Words, colorism in the entertainment industry, and more.

Fans may remember Rodriguez from her appearance on Last Comic Standing back in 2014. Since then, she’s gone on to produce, act and write on various projects. Fighting Words, now streaming on HBO Max, is described as a “hilarious, no-holds-barred exploration of identity and family,” in which she dives deep into her Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage.

Aida Rodriguez attends the HBO Max premiere screening of Aida Rodriguez “Fighting Words” at The Conga Room at L.A. Live on November 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HBO Max Premiere Screening of Aida Rodriguez: Fighting Words)

Speaking to how Fighting Words came to be, Rodriguez explained, “I got this special before COVID. I had gotten my deal with HBO Max in 2019 and then COVID hit. But you know, when it’s like for us, this collective trauma that we experienced and specifically people of color, Black people in this country, we were dealing with COVID. We were dealing with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor. The list goes on.”

So how did Rodriguez use her platform to “show up” in this moment?

“All of these things were happening at one time and watching our communities being ravaged by this pandemic, this virus, in the worst way…and me figuring out how I can show up in the world as a stand-up comedian in this moment and try to offer some healing and use what I have to try to sort some of this stuff out.”

Rodriguez shared that the special was “cathartic” for her as she was told time and again in her career that this would “never happen” for her.

“I get my first comedy special. People told me that would never happen because of my gender, my or my ethnicity and my age, and I get it,” she said. “And then coronavirus hit and we all sat down and the future looks so bleak. I [didn’t] know when this is going to happen. And so I just made a decision to start writing and documenting what was happening in the moment.”

Rodriguez also opened up about her Afro-Latino heritage and colorism.

“I claim my Afro-indigenous roots because I feel like history, society, America has embedded this shame and embarrassment over where we come from by making Africa…our African ancestors…caricatures with this idea that it’s uncivilized and underdeveloped and indigenous people as being dumb and weak,” she said. “And those are our glorious ancestors, right? I claim them proudly because, I am because they were. I want to reframe that.”

The full episode of Acting Up with Aida Rodriguez is up now.

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The post Aida Rodriguez opens up about her ‘cathartic’ comedy special, colorism in the industry and more appeared first on TheGrio.

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