Perhaps concerned that the Emmys hadn't filled their quotient of "ironic" sexism and/or racism, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences President Bruce Rosenblum presented the usual spiel about the missions of the Academy (and, by extension, the Emmys), boiling the whole statement down to the importance giving everybody something to watch.
That was all well and good, but his idea of something good to watch was to put Sofia Vergara atop a rotating pedestal, complete with her asking if this was how it's done in America, for added creep factor.
As NPR's Linda Holmes pointed out, Vergara is game for these bits, but the ick factor is off the charts.
In fairness, Sofia Vergara always seems incredibly game for this stuff, but still. Just: no. #Emmys
— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) August 26, 2014
The question of where the line between irony and outright sexism or racism exists has bedeviled awards shows for quite some time now, reaching a sort of apotheosis in Seth MacFarlane's hosting of the Oscars. These gags almost never work, and they seem solely calculated to piss social media off.
Twitter was only too happy to oblige.
Next year, same Sofia Vergara bit but with Outlander guy
— Brandon Nowalk (@bnowalk) August 26, 2014
Sofia Vergara needs to learn how to say no and the Emmy people should have known better...
— Tim Goodman (@BastardMachine) August 26, 2014
I wish they did that rotating Sofia Vergara joke with a guy.
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) August 26, 2014
no, no, no you are not making this joke where sofia vergara turns on a rotating platform like a car no no no
— Jessica Goldstein (@jessicagolds) August 26, 2014
Even Katie Couric was mildly perturbed:
I love @SofiaVergara but did anyone find that schtick somewhat offensive?
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) August 26, 2014
Update: In an interview with Entertainment Weekly backstage, Vergara was asked if she found the bit sexist or demeaning. "I think its absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it's ridiculous that somebody started this — I know who she was — who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a little bit," the magazine reports her as saying.