Before we got to the controversy, let’s just take a moment and look at Salma Hayek’s pictorial for the September issue of Vogue Germany. The photos themselves aren’t anything amazing, I don’t think – it seems like such a bored and boring editorial. That being said, Salma’s body is CRAY in these photos. Like, she’s an embarrassment of riches with that body and that face.
Now, on to the controversy. In the interview with Vogue Germany, Salma was discussing her supporting role in Oliver Stone’s Savages. In the film, Salma plays some kind of Mexican drug lord – her character orders Benicio del Toro to kidnap and torture Blake Lively’s character, I believe, and while Salma’s scenes probably weren’t filmed in Mexico (I think the whole thing was shot in and around LA), apparently Salma felt like it was the first time in a while that she was playing a “Mexican character”. Salma is half-Mexican, you know, and she was raised in Mexico. Which makes her comments to Vogue Germany… a little weird:
“I am proud to have been involved in this film with all these great actors,” Hayek told Vogue Deutsch (as translated from German to English). “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now.”
“It’s true that we have a problem in Mexico and it is important to talk about it. However, the U.S. is playing a major role, even if they claim it is purely a Mexican problem. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the past few years in this drug war — mainly by arms that come from the U.S.”
“My life is completely different. It’s great thanks to my daughter Valentina and my husband.”
“It’s much easier to get an Oscar than a great husband. My career is not as important as everything else I have achieved. If they offered me to change my life in exchange for being the most famous and the highest-earning actress, I wouldn’t accept.”
Do you see where there’s a problem? I will spell it out for you: “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now.” I understood what she was trying to say – that she’s far-removed from the world in which she grew up, having lived in LA and Paris for the better part of two decades. But Salma’s words are being taken as… well, something altogether Goop-ier. (Sidenote: Can’t you just imagine Gwyneth Paltrow saying something like, “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be American”?).
Hispanic blogs are criticizing Salma for her statements, with one blog, Guanabee, asking: “What did Salma mean by basically saying she forgot what it’s like to be a Mexican woman? That she’s too French and rich for our blood?” It’s a thing now. And so Salma’s rep went to E! News and claimed that “the whole thing has been lost in translation” and “Salma is not disparaging Mexico in any way.” Apparently, this was the original quote, per Ingrid Sischy (who wrote the Vogue article):
“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.”
I really don’t see a huge different? “The truth is that I almost have to try and remember what it’s like to be Mexican. My life is different now.” Versus: “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now.” What’s the big diff? I’m not seeing it. If anything, I think the clarifying quote might be slightly MORE offensive. It makes Salma sound like she really has to put some effort into remembering a life beyond her gilded walls.
Incidentally, I think the real money quote is “It’s much easier to get an Oscar than a great husband.” O RLY? Says the woman who does not have an Oscar, and whose husband just settled a giant child support case for the kid he fathered while he and Salma were getting started. Sure.
Vogue Germany photos courtesy of The Fashion Spot.
Written by Kaiser
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