Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom talks Filipino culture and TV diversity 

Lea Salonga to appear on ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ 

Creator, writer, producer and comedienne Rachel Bloom took home the Golden Globe on Sunday, Jan. 9 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical, for her CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

“The CW has supported us creatively every step of the way,” Bloom said onstage Sunday night. “All those things you hear about networks trying to stifle creativity–CW lets creators create and gives us freedom. I think the CW is fan-f—ing-tastic.”

Musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, a successful, miserable young woman who impulsively leaves her job as a real estate lawyer in New York in search of love and happiness in West Covina, California, also the suburban hometown of her Filipino ex-boyfriend, Josh Chan, played by Fil-Am actor Vincent Rodriguez III.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend explores this idea of feeling crazy over someone,” Rodriguez told the Asian Journallast year, adding that the show –which premiered in October– includes themes of family, friendship, and finding home away from home. “When you’re in love, it’s fun, ridiculous, and exciting.”

“My Thanksgiving With Josh,” an episode that aired on Nov. 16, 2015, made television history when the family of Josh Chan was introduced together with actors Amy Hill, Tess Paras, Alberto Issacs and Coryn Mabalot, all playing members of Josh’s immediate family, respectively. It was the first time a Filipino-American family was introduced to US broadcast television, reported FilAm Creative.

While in production for the first season, Bloom said she’d learned a great deal about storytelling and the importance of diversity in television. Backstage at the Golden Globes, she also said she was “surprised” by the strong reaction from viewers to the show’s Filipino characters, which reflect the show’s setting of the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina, according to Variety.

“I have learned so much about Filipino culture. What’s insane is we are not fresh off the boat about specifically being Filipino. One of our characters [Rodriguez] happens to be Filipino, so when we realized no one else had even made the effort to show a Filipino family on an American comedy, it taught me a lot about Filipino culture,” Bloom said to reporters in the Globes press room. “Mabuhay!”

“But it’s also taught me really about how important diversity is, if you want to tell a new story.”

Bloom also used the opportunity to announce that Filipina Broadway star Lea Salonga will also be a guest star in the show’s first season finale.

“In episode 18, we are so proud Lea Salonga will be guest-starring, and when Vincent saw [her], he literally fainted to the ground,” Bloom laughed.

Salonga also previously tweeted, “I guess the news is out!!! I’ll be appearing on the season finale of [Crazy Ex-Girlfriend]! And singing, too! How fun is that?!”

The CW show will return with its midseason premiere at its usual time on Monday, Jan. 25, at 8pm ET, reported Entertainment Weekly.

“This has shown me how important diversity is if you want to tell a new story. Anything else I do from now…I would want to make it about people who are diverse, gay, trans; because those are stories that have not been told before, and America is a melting pot of immigrants, and I don’t think it is acknowledged half as much as it is on television. We’re proud to be a show that supports diversity because that’s what America is. We’re just showing it how it is,” Bloom said.

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