The Modern Family actress, 42, was placed on a rotating platform during a speech by Bruce Rosenblum, president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who explained with a wink: "We never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch."
Vergara, who looked dazzling in a white Roberto Cavalli dress, was hamming it up during the segment. But many viewers weren't laughing.
"If the Emmys want to celebrate women, maybe don't put Sofia Vergara on a turntable," wrote Think Progress. "She was treated like a literal object," added Jezebel.
Later, Vergara flatly denied to reporters that the bit was sexist.
"I think it's absolutely the opposite," she said. "It means someone can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself and enjoy and work and make money, so I absolutely think it's ridiculous. And somebody who started this, and I know who she was, has no sense of humor and should lighten up a little bit!"
Check out the segment below. Were you bothered by it?