Does Javier Bardem discriminate against Spanish-language media?

These are some photos of Javier Bardem promoting Skyfall throughout Europe last week. He looks really good lately – it helps that his hair is really working for him these days, but everything else looks good too. Now, I’ve heard some rumors here and there that Javier is secretly (or not so much) an a—hole. I never knew whether or not I should believe those rumors. I tend to think that he’s not any more or less of an a—hole than the average A-list actor, meaning it all depends on who he’s talking to and who he wants to impress. So… I’m not sure what to make of this story. During his Skyfall promotion, a respected reporter named Tony Dandrades from Univision’s Primer Impacto show sat down with Javier, and throughout the course of the five-minute long piece, Javi threw some kind of hissy fit. ABC News says, “Things went awry, and Bardem demanded that junket organizers not give Dandrades footage of the interview. The Univision journalist left without his interview tapes; a first in his long-standing career. Soon after, Dandrades took to Twitter to share what happened.” After that, Dandrades wrote an open letter to Bardem in which he calls out many celebrities – especially Hispanic celebrities – for not showing any respect to Spanish-language media:


Dear Javier:

I am a journalist that has covered a multitude of issues — from serious events like the earthquake of 2010 in Haiti to interviews with the most important names in Latin music — and I have worked in the United States for 20 years tirelessly to both inform and entertain Spanish-speaking audiences so that they can maintain a connection to the artists that they love and that remind them of home. The night before I interviewed you, I went to the screening of Skyfall, the latest 007 movie in which you bring to life the malevolent Silva. I was informed prior to our brief interview by one of the junket organizers that I was not allowed to ask personal questions, to which I replied that it is not my policy to censor my questions.

But there is another important reason why I choose to exercise my right to freedom of expression. It seems to me that the Hispanic media receives an unfair amount of limitations when it comes to press junkets and that English-speaking outlets are given both more freedom and access in these kinds of forums. A recent example that comes to mind is when, during a junket for Hotel Transylvania, we were not allowed to ask Selena Gomez about her private life, but then, to promote the same movie, she appeared on The Ellen Show, happily discussing her relationship to Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber. And that is just one example of how the rules are different for Hispanic outlets.

When Tom Hanks came to Despierta America last year, something changed. Since then, more and more Hollywood actors – and the studios that hire them – have started to realize the importance of coming to our sets. Our box office dollars matter – and so do our media outlets.

The day of our interview, when there was one minute left of the five we’re allotted, I asked you a simple, straightforward question: why are you so reserved when it comes to your private life? To which you responded, “I don’t discuss my private life – not in English or Spanish.” Then I noted that you choose not to speak about your private life with Hispanic outlets, but that I’ve seen you open up to mainstream outlets like The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and that I’d seen the clip on YouTube. Then I tried to get back to the subject of the movie, but it appeared to have been too late.

I made my feelings known at the end of our discussion after that one particular question caused you to get so angry that you asked that the tapes be erased. It was never my intention to make you angry; I asked my questions respectfully. I do want to say that marginalizing Hispanic media is a mistake. I don’t have to tell you about how important we are as a movie-going audience, and rest assured that your decision will not — and should not — prevent millions of Latinos from being informed.

Best, Tony Dandrades

[Via ABC News]

What’s interesting is that this is barely being reported in the American media, but it is getting wide play in the Spanish-language media. I think Danrades has a valid point about discrimination in general – that Hispanic media is forced to play by a different set of rules than English-language media, and that more people should show more respect to this targeted, growing and flourishing demographic. On the other hand, a junket is a junket. Of course celebrities save their personal stories and their news-making quotes for the “bigger shows”. They’re not going to be super-revealing during a 5-minute junket interview.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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80 Responses to “Does Javier Bardem discriminate against Spanish-language media?”

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  1. Mia 4S says:

    I thought it was common knowledge he is a bit of an ass? The close relationship with Julia Roberts should be a dead give away.

  2. Po says:

    Ok, so how was what he asked a personal question? See this interviewer prefaced his argument on his right to ask a personal question which I believe he has, and on the same note Javier has the right not to answer it. However, this wasn’t a personal question. He simply asked him why he likes to keep his private life private to which Javier could have given him a stock answer. What I think shows the difference in how an important American interviewer would have been treated as opposed to how this gentleman was treated is the fact that I believe Javier would have given the stock answer to an American. Oh and we’ll probably hear Javier talk about being mistreated by this journalist and how he’s such a private man however the proof is the pudding and I believe Javier made them erase the tape because he didn’t want anyone seeing him acting like a complete and total ass.

  3. emmie_a says:

    It’s not genuine to save your ‘good stuff’ for the big shows bc it makes it look like your entire life is a big act that you turn on and off depending on the audience. — But what do you expect? I don’t think the majority of actors are genuine.

  4. dcypher1 says:

    Im sure well all be hearing an apology anytime now from mr. bardem soon. Probably after a talking to from his pr people.

  5. LucyOriginal says:

    I thought Tony’s question was very respectful and Javier acted like a DIVA. There was no need to ask to erase Tony’s tape. Que malo,Javier….What a disappointment!

    • Kiki says:

      I’m so disappointed by this man’s attitude. How can we ask United Statatians not to discriminate against us when we are the first ones to discriminate among ourselves??

      • LucyOriginal says:

        Kiki, exactly! I am not Hispanic, but I am Latin. So, I don’t understand why foreigner actors don’t respect people from their own countries/who speak the same languages. I guess humble and modest are not in Javier’s vocabulary.

      • ZenB!tch says:

        @LucyTheOriginal I thought erasing the tape was a bit much but I see the point on limiting the questions.

        I think he considered it minor press. He wasn’t dissing Mexican or Argentine TV. It’s US Spanish-Language TV. The audience is not as big.

        Since we are on the topic of Latinos, Hispanics and whatever other name they choose to call us – what exactly *is* his ethnic background? Don’t tell me Spanish because Bardem is not a Spanish name. I’m curious, maybe because I just found out my mom’s family is Basque vs. Spanish.

  6. megs283 says:

    Hmm. First off, thanks for covering this. We get in our American bubble and never hear topics that are important to the rest of the world (trivial as this may be).

    I think Javier overreacted, but that question would bug me too. If he’s supposedly private about his private life…that question is annoying. Javier probably wants to be private, but is encouraged to whore himself out for the big network shows. You gotta play the game for fame and $$, even if you don’t necessarily want to…

    That said – rudeness is never ok.

  7. lisa2 says:

    That funny to me.. Because the Jolie-Pitt fans first got wind that Brad was going to maybe pop the question form a Spanish language interview he did at the Golden Globes.

    I think some of the best celeb interviews come from foreign media. I for one like them better then the American media: that loves to ask all the same dumb questions and always go the tabloid route. So I say BRAVO to someone for speaking up. The world is a big place and yes all those dollars count. Not just the USA ones.

    I’m also tired of the “I’m private”. Every celeb is “private” if the media is not obsessed with you. It is easy to live a quiet life if pictures of you and you life doesn’t sale. It is all about public interest. So people really need to stop ragging on celebs that the public is obsessed with or that the media talks about all the time. INTEREST DRIVES THE COVERAGE.

  8. Flora says:

    I read a recent interview with Bardem with a British publication and he refused to answer personal questions for that interview too.

    As a fellow journo I do find it absurd that the tapes needed to be erased. Bardem and his pr team have no right to demand that, Bond film or no Bond film.

    • Raven says:

      I was sorry to read this because I’m a huge fan of Bardem, but the reporter seemed to have his facts correct and his background makes him a serious journalist. I don’t think this journalist’s question was that personal but a general one about many celebs. I suspect Bardem was insulted by the accusation. He could have so easily fielded the question but he may be concerned that once he opens up, the questions will become increasingly intrusive. And he’s selling the film not himself. Still, it’s unfortunate.

  9. Ann says:

    I believe neither Bardem nor his wife have the best of reputations.

  10. dooliloo says:

    Basically they look down to the Hispanic audience but they sell out to the US mainstream given that it’s Hollywood… Oh well… To me it’s a mix of hypocrisy and PR game if I dare say…

  11. hoya_chick says:

    Wow, disheartening. Very sad that spanish language media outlets are treated so poorly, especially by spanish stars. smh. Javier does give off douche vibes but I think people let it slide because he is such a talented actor.

  12. Ranunculus says:

    The interviewer was quite unprofessional actually, because he was informed to not ask personal questions but he did it anyway. I think anybody, whether you are a “normal” citizen or a public one like actors or any showbiz person has the right to discuss or not discuss personal things with whom ever they choose. I don’t get it, JB is one of the few who doesn’t famewhore his private life for publicity and he gets guff about it.

    • bns says:

      The interviewer wasn’t unprofessional at all. If Javier didn’t want to answer the question he could have graciously declined, but he wanted to be difficult and act like a diva bitch instead. He’s a great actor, but that doesn’t excuse his douchebag behavior. And it’s pretty hypocritical that he’ll playfully discuss his personal life on the couches of David Letterman or Jay Leno, but not to a lesser known, foreign journalist. I’m glad that he was called out.

      I had a similar feeling about Penelope, who claims that her personal life is off limits, but as soon as she had her baby she was on the cover of Vogue “gushing about motherhood”.

  13. eb says:

    Eh. The big shows get more play I imagine. And the researchers on an Ellen show or a Letterman show certainly dig up the juicy bits from the smaller interviews and then the host will try and get more. It’s harder to say no in these larger venues.

    Maybe, he’s just trying to stem the tide. I’m cutting him a break. It may not be so much anti-hispanic as anti-tidbits to smaller audience share outlets. Of course time will tell.

  14. Lita says:

    I live in Spain and I can confirm that him and Penelope (and her entitled sister) are major a-holes to Spanish media. True, some journalists do ask very intrusive questions, but what really bothers people here in Spain is that they seem to be totally ok with Hollywood media asking whatever they want.

    • Memory30 says:

      Thank you the same happens with Salma Hayek when she goes to Mexico she dont wanna talk to any media and when she does is for 5 min and she only talks about her movie or whatever crap she is promoting but here in the USA she talks about her daughter and husband and where she leaves eats and everything in between and this happens with all the Hispanic celebrities specially in Mexico because they use Mexico as a platform to enter the American show business and once they make it they forget where they started.

      • Loira says:

        Memory, remember that year sago, Televisa had many of their important artists in a lockdown contract, they could not work anywhere else, let alone leave Mexico to work for movies, they were “artistas exclusivos”. They banned Salma when she left for HW anyway. When she came with more important movies, the reporters from Televisa were invited, but didn’t appear at her press conferences. She loudly complained about the ban they imposed on her.
        Salma is not a perfect nice artist, but you have to acknowledge that Televisa and the other TV companies are monsters, remember the ridiculous lawsuit against Rogelio Guerra?
        They seemed to think they “owned” the artist. I am not a Salma fan, but I liked that she was ambitious enough to kick the company to the curb, they deserved so. Whatever talent she had.

  15. UNF Joan Jett! says:

    Can I have him with sugar on top, please?
    That would be all. Thanks.

  16. Merman says:

    He could just say no and move on.The reporter was refused his footage because Bardem doesn’t have the …ability to answer simple questions and handle simple situations.A good reminder.

  17. lala says:

    Javier and Pe are not loved in Spain. Very rude and arrogant couple.

  18. chloe says:

    Sorry still love him and think he’s one of the greatest actors of our time. Can he be an ass, most likely, but so can 90% of Hollywood.

  19. QQ says:

    Ive have herd Many many many times that both him and Penelope are World Class Assholes to everyone non famous ( Spaniard celebs are kinda weird alright already as is tho, a certain petulance and arrogance ) But He must have been exceptionally nasty for Tony Dandrades, who is a Major fluff reporting suck up, to write this! (most of hispanic/latin media is kind of like People Mag, permanently living in celebs anal cavities and writing/reporting nothing but sanctioned fluffy pieces never anything controversial until U.S media is two weeks into whatever scandal coverage! This is why ive given up with our celeb/entertainment gossip in general, is super cheesy!)

    • Jaded says:

      I’ve heard same QQ – in Spain they’re not well regarded at all as apparently their arrogance factor is off the scale when it comes to dealing with local media and actors.

      • fritanga says:

        Oh, good grief – have you ever been around Spanish people? If Bardem and Cruz are being arrogant, it’s only because arrogance is the default stance amongst Spaniards, who are almost as snobby and unpleasant as the French. Fight fire with fire, as they say – their arrogance (if it truly exists) is probably defensive.

    • Marty says:

      @QQ- Thank you for this comment because it is soooooooo true. Spanish stars have a very “above it” attitude when it comes to a lot of things. Even if they are not that well known in the U.S. they act arrogant.

      • QQ says:

        YAAAASS Marty!! See Elsa Pataky for example, perfectly unknown here but you see her working cameras and carpets Like “UGH” and “You Should be so lucky”… then again most of them down to the “wives of” etc tend to act that way even as they sell out their “inside our house” “inside our romance” “modeling fugly dresses” to Hola! Like, biweekly, No?

  20. pretty says:

    He looks like a hippo (Hippopotamus)! NOT HOT at all..
    And Daniel Craig looks like a yoda. look at his yoda ears!

  21. Flor says:

    Javier and Penelope are well known for disrespecting Hisapnic outlets and being cute and movie star-like with American ones. It’s silly what they do because if they are so ashame of being Hispanic then they should think about it, give the example and fight for their culture to be respected internationally. All the countries in Latin America and Spain are beautiful places full of potential. It is a shame that the first ones disrespecting them are their people.

    • Jaded says:

      I agree Flor, I have travelled extensively in Central America and Spain, and the people there are very hospitable and treated me so well. It’s a shame that Bardem and Cruz have become so America-focused that they’ve lost respect for their own people.

  22. florencia says:

    It is well known that javier and penelope hate latin americans, they don’t give interviews here.

    • Spaniard says:

      Well Florencia, it’s nothing against latin americans but to all spanish speaking people in general because they act like major douches when they come to Spain too. Not well liked in Spain these 2 idiots, hope they stay in Hollywood and NEVER come back

  23. Christina says:

    I read somewhere that he and Penelope are not popular in Spain, or at least are much less popular than you might imagine.

  24. Another spaniard says:

    They are major asses with media from Spain. They even sued once a publication for saying she was pregnant when she was pregnant indeed. Javier defines himself as a communist. Yeh, right? With all that money.
    Penelope is pretty vapid and has aways been considered a terrible actress.and oh! Her unbearable sister…where to start?
    Both of them act in a really pretentious way and refuse to say even hello to the press many times. No respect on my side for these two.keep them there. As another Spaniard said we don’t want them here. I will admit that at least he can act…

    • Malorie says:

      I suscribe every word you wrote. I´m from Spain too.

    • Christina says:

      It’s so interesting how stars are regarded differently in their home countries. In the English-speaking world, most people have a very positive view of Javier and Penelope – as people and as actors. Not so in Spain. And Monica Bellucci is regarded as the height of Italian sophistication and class abroad, but in Italy itself she’s considered a vapid person and a hopeless actress who only got where she is because of her looks.

      Here in Ireland, a big international star like Bono is widely mocked and derided as a tax dodger. I suppose it’s hard to hide in your own country! People KNOW who you are!

      • ZenB!tch says:

        I still want to know if Bono actually donates anything to Africa. I used to love U2 but then Bono opened up his frigging mouth.

        RE: Univision No. I don’t watch it, I find Spanish language shows painful to watch with all the icky old fat men and scantily clad young women. I keep hoping Latin American TV is not like that and that US Spanish Language TV is an aberration geared to the lowest common denominator. Yes, I pronounce the name in English (Uni as in Universal vs. Ooni).

        All that negativity aside, I heard they did a really in depth piece on the Fast and Furious scandal which was not picked up at all by the US media. It may have been the Mexican parent company who did that piece but it did air on Univision as per my sources.

  25. claire says:

    I don’t know if it’s discrimination towards Latino media. It seemed to me the discrimination pattern he pointed out was print media or news media versus very popular talk shows.

  26. Feebee says:

    There’s no way he would have pulled that shit with Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight. Hissy fit, maybe… Getting tapes erased absolutley not. I guess an ass is an ass in any language.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      The Kartrashians or other low lives do that. Which trashy pseudo celeb was it that walked out on one of those? The only difference is that no one takes away the mainstream US media’s tapes.

      I actually wonder if he could have pulled that with Telemundo, since it’s owned by NBC.

  27. dahlianoir says:

    Nooooooo…. There goes my crush.

  28. Marta says:

    I’m Spanish and I can assure you that Javier Bardem is the biggest asshole in the country; he’s so f’ing arrogant and so full of himself. He considers Spain and Spanish media to be rubbish. It is impoortant to say, though, that before he became famous in the USA he would never stop saying shit about Americans. Now that he’s famous there and he has his Oscar, America is awesome. Mark my words: BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN THE BUSINESS.

  29. Marta says:

    Oh…and don’t get me started on Penelope Cruz. A match made in pretentious, talentless heaven.

  30. Laura says:

    No existe ninguna discriminación, ya sea en inglés o en español. En el programa de Jay Leno NO contestó ninguna pregunta personal. Se limito a decir gracias.

  31. Barbara says:

    The same with Marion Cotillard in France, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightly Rachel Weisz or Jude Law in UK, Chistopher Waltz in Austria and Cate Blanchet, Hugh Jackman in Australia.

  32. Down and Out says:

    I think the reporter had every right to feel offended.

    Javier answered “I don’t discuss my private life – not in English or Spanish.” If he had left it at just the first part of that sentence, okay, fair enough. A bit untrue, as the reporter pointed out, but whatever.

    That Javier felt the need to throw in “not in English or Spanish” strikes me as prejudiced, as though he was insinuating the Univision reporter was attempting to extract info he otherwise wouldn’t share because they’re the same ethnicity or speak the same native language. I’d have to see the interview to see the context (which I guess I can’t since Javi kept the tapes…), but to me that’s offensive. The journalist was doing his job, and if you don’t want to answer personal questions, leave it at that. Don’t bring culture or ethnicity into it, particularly when it’s easily proven you’re a hypocrite.

  33. Guesto says:

    Who cares? He’s an amazing actor, hot as f*ck and most importantly, not a people-pleaser. I hate people-pleasers. An occasional hissyfit is a small price to pay for his talent and hotness.

    And really, that was a dumbass question – “Why are you so reserved when it comes to your private life?” As if being reserved about his private life is a negative thing, or an unusual thing, or a questionable thing?! Why on earth should he have to answer that?

    As you were, Javier. :)

    • Marta says:

      People like you really piss me off. He is not a fucking god. The fact that he is an actor does not mean he can be rude to people and it will be okay. Is because of people like you that movie starts are dicks. He is not saving the world, he’s just an actor.

  34. Grace says:

    Awful. He and his wife should be ashamed.

  35. Another Spaniard says:

    Ah, yes. , people. As Marta said above he used to take any chance to express his hatred for the U S. Look at him now….
    They are both disgusting

  36. ataylor says:

    While I don’t doubt Cruz and Bardem are colossal a-holes and Bardem totally overreacted to Tony, I will say this about most Spanish-Language/Hispanic celebrity-gossip-tabloid shows and television media: they can be ruthless and downright nasty when discussing celebs. Most of the time they make Star, TMZ and the National Enquirer seem like People Magazine clones.

    I think one of the ONLY respectful celebrity interviewers I’ve seen over the years are Cristina Saralegui and Don Francisco.

    Now, Tony is a respected (although sometimes an ass-kissy) journalist, but the REST…those shows (and their tv anchors) are just plain old mean and sometimes downright evil by relishing in a celebs downfall. So I can see why they might discriminate against some Hispanic outlets.

    Let’s face it, US Media is much MUCH nicer and respectful…even when they are doing their worst! Is it ok to discriminate? No. But let me tell you, as a Hispanic who grew up watching those shows, if I was a celebrity too there are some Spanish-language outlets I would NEVER EVER give the time of day to either.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      I never watched those shows because my mom got sick of telenovelas when I was a small child. I was actually referring to Don Francisco above when I stated why *I* can’t watch US Spanish-Language TV.

      However, I will back you up on the nastiness and duplicity of the US Spanish-Language celebrity press. My mom has read both Hola! (Spanish) and Vanidades (US Spanish-Language) throughout my life and Vanidades can turn on someone on a dime. One issue they LOVE LOVE LOVE Goop, then in the next one they are all about how ugly she is. They’ve done that to soooo many people. I admit I think it’s a riot but I’m not a celeb.

      • ataylor says:

        Oh I hate the Don Francisco show with the passion and fire of a hundred thousand suns (I think he’s a nasty pervert) but I’ll admit, when I knew a fave celeb was going to be interviewed I would watch (and watch that segment ONLY). The interview was usually and surprisingly really good and yes sometimes even ass-kissy. One really good thing about it was that Don Francisco wouldn’t shy away from asking the tough questions. At least it was like that 10 years ago. I haven’t watched in a long, long time. I’m shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU that it’s still being televised.

    • A says:

      +1. I agree. I read Spanish gossip magazines occasionally as a fun way to keep up my Spanish reading skills..they can be downright cruel. They make the bitchy comments on here seem downright sweet and kind…that said, Javier was unnecessarily nasty.

  37. Ranunculus says:

    “I don’t have to tell you about how important we are as a movie-going audience, and rest assured that your decision will not — and should not — prevent millions of Latinos from being informed”

    Honestly this reporter almost sounds a bit creepy – “informed” about what? Javier Bardem’s private life. If the guy doesn’t want to talk about private stuff to this reporter (and JB has a right to choose with whom he does and with whom he doesn’t) that’s his decision and everybody should respect that. People should stop making assumptions with only hearing one side of the story.