To the crowd’s disappointment, Ferrera admitted it was a gag, but she did end up urging the crowd to start a Twitter campaign to make that joke a reality. After struggling to figure out a hashtag, Ferrera, along with the rest of the cast assembled on the stage, urged fans to tweet Hulu with the hashtag #hulubringbackbetty – later changed to #hulubringbackuglybetty, so as not to be confused with Betty White, who guest starred on the ABC series. “Let’s all tweet it out and we’re going to get Hulu to buy a 2 two hour special,” Ferarra added.
These things tend to happen at festivals like ATX, and by and large they go nowhere, but as pointed out by the panel moderator, last year Gilmore Girls had there own reunion at ATX and have since been revived for a four episode run on Netflix.
So what would a hypothetical reunion look like. Somecast members had an idea of where their characters would be if the show returned. “Betty has been in London for 6 years and now she’s coming back home,” Ferrera suggested. Judith Light meanwhile imagined her character would be “back in the sanitarium.” Creator Silvio Horta was also open to the idea of a revivial, telling the crowd that “the only thing I know for sure, if we were to do somethings it would be a dream but everybody on the would have to be involved, and Becky Newton,” who was not able to attend due to illness.
Judging from the reaction of the audience and panelists alike, it seemed everyone attending the event would be on board.
When Horta first pitched the show, he envisioned Betty as an FBI agent but was met with “crickets” from the ABC execs. They suggested he stay with the original concept from the telenovela because it “worked.” Horta also shared that before the show’s premiere, ABC had changed the its title to Betty The Ugly but he rebuffed the name change. “On every script we kept putting Ugly Betty.”
Ferrera recalled catching wind of the show from EP Salma Hayek, when the two stumbled upon each other at a hotel. “I hadn’t heard anything about the show and she ran up to me and said, ‘You are my Ugly Betty!’ Hayek went on to pitch Ferrera the show. “‘It’s about this girl looks like a train wreak… she comes into this world of fashion and she turns everyone else beautiful from the inside out.’ I just knew right away that that show had to exist.”
Ugly Betty didn’t shy away from social issue, one in particular that was a topic of discussion during the panel was about young Justin (played by Mark Indelicato) and him struggling with his sexual identity, which paralleled with the actor’s life. “I was discovering myself and my sexual orientation at the same time and we really helped each other and guided each other,” Indelicate revealed . “What you see on screen was so personal and so real.” Horta praised the young actor for being able to handle “everything in an adult way.”
Another big one was issue of transgender and acceptance. If you recall, Rebecca Romijn character was introduced as Alexis Meade, the transgendered sister of Daniel Meade. To this Romijn said “It opened up minds.” Light lauded the show for challenging the idea of beauty and its strong message to end “bigotry” and “the shunning of the other.”
The panelist on stage included Ferrera, Horta, Light, Indelicate, and Romijn along with co-stars Michael Urie, Tony Plana, Eric Mabius, Ana Ortiz, Vanessa Williams, and Ashley Jensen