The CW’s “Jane the Virgin” upset expectations by completely eliminating its love triangle recently, and now it will wade into even trickier waters by tackling the very heavy issue of immigration later.
At a For Your Consideration Emmy event on Tuesday night, moderated by “Late Late Show” host James Corden, “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman revealed how the show will once again get serious and get involved with American politics.
“We feel a responsibility to react to this presidency,” Urman said, explaining that Jane Villanueva’s son Mateo will wonder “why people don’t want abuela in this country.”
Jane’s abuela, aka grandmother Alba (Ivonne Coll), has dealt with her illegal immigration status before, having fled from Venezuela to the U.S. without proper documentation. In the show’s second season, she obtained a green card so she was able to legally reside and work in the country. Her status as a legal alien will now be threatened will be an illuminating turn of events for many who only see non-citizens as faceless criminals with no in-between considerations.
The current administration has put a “U.S. first” attitude in place that is less tolerant to foreign-born people, specifically refugees and immigrants, but also those who have legal residency status or work permits.
Urman said that the show has always encouraged empathy and to have “people look at people, not positions… We’re getting into some big immigration stories.”
Coll added that even beyond the immigration message was one of feminism and power. Her character, Alba, living in the United States allowed her to be freer as a person divorced from societal expectations because it “doesn’t matter what people think about you as long as you pay your rent.”
In addition to the immigration story, Coll said she appreciated “Jane the Virgin” for its other messages. “[It has] three Latina females as the head of the household,” she said. “This is a show that not only depicts us, but the American scene. The American reality of the country that is composed of many, many immigrants.”
Also in attendance at the FYC event in North Hollywood were the show’s other cast members, including Gina Rodriguez, Jaime Camill, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Andrea Navedo, and Yael Grobglas. The series has previously earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Narrator (Anthony Mendez).
“Jane the Virgin” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.