Salma Hayek’s comment on Mexican roots sparks outrage
Washington: Salma Hayek’s landed herself in hot water among her country’s people, by admitting that she does not remember how it is to be a Mexican.
The 45-year-old actress was discussing her role, as the head of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel in Oliver Stone’s film ‘Savages’ when she said, as translated from German to English, “I am proud to have been involved in this film with all these great actors.”
“Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now,” a news channel has quoted her as telling a magazine.
According to The Huffington Post, the remark brought a strong response from the Hispanic blog Guanabee, which posted: “What did Salma mean by basically saying that she’s too French and rich for our blood?”
The ‘Desperado’ star is married to the French fashion executive and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault.
A representative for the actress told E! News on Wednesday that “the whole thing has been lost in translation,” adding, “Salma is not disparaging Mexico in any way.”
The representative also forwarded the notes from the story’s author Ingrid Sischy, the former editor of Interview magazine, showing that Hayek’s actual answer had been longer and had a different translation: “I am proud to be in this movie with all these great actors. The truth is that I almost have to try and remember what it’s like to be Mexican. My life is different now. You cannot make yourself represent something. You have to be an individual, by being the best you can be.”
Hayek also released a statement in response to the controversy.
“I have never denied my background or my culture. I have taught my child to embrace her Mexican heritage, to love my first language, Spanish, to learn about Mexican history, music, folk art, food, and even the Mexican candy I grew up with. I have always been an active part of my community,” she said.
“I have tried my whole life to represent my Mexican roots with honour and pride.
“It saddens me when my words are lost in translation and taken out of context to hurt the people of Mexico, whom I love,” she added.