Salma Hayek is in trouble for condescending to Jessica Williams

23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG)

Salma Hayek attended the SAG Awards as a presenter, because that’s what Salma does at this point – she shows up at awards shows to present awards. Salma chose this yellow and pink Gucci, which… let’s be honest, it’s terrible. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that I have a general aversion to yellow dresses, but seriously, this would not have been a good dress in another color anyway. But in yellow? No. It looked like a mix between a cheap bridesmaid’s dress and a quinceanera dress.

But really, I wanted to talk about this article in the Los Angeles Times – go here to read it. Salma attended a lunch celebrating women in film at Sundance. Women like Shirley MacLaine, Alfre Woodard and Jessica Williams were in attendance. The conversation quickly turned to politics and race, and when Jessica tried to speak about how she was perceived as a black woman – in life and in the industry – it really felt like Salma was talking down to her. Like, Salma tried to shut Jessica down when Jessica wanted to expand the conversation about how just being trans or just being black in our society can’t be dealt with by just thinking positive. It was a complicated conversation, which is why I’m not going to excerpt from it, but you should absolutely read the piece to see the context. People reacted on Twitter:

23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG)

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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157 Responses to “Salma Hayek is in trouble for condescending to Jessica Williams”

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  1. grabbyhands says:

    She looks like an Easter egg. A crappy, dismissive, tone deaf Easter egg.

    Take a seat Salma.

  2. Daisy says:

    Isn’t Salma considered white in her country? And she grew up rich. It makes sense for her not to understand it.

    • Saks says:

      No, a true white in Mexico is a white like in the US, which there are especially in the Northern states. She is consider a light morena or “apiñonada”.

    • Tata says:

      There are rich people in Mexico who know how racist, colorist and elitist they are.

      Imagine a gringo going to Mexico and lecturing them about their treatment of native peoples

      History and awareness are not beyond Hayek.

    • Littlestar says:

      I don’t know if she’s considered white in Mexico with being half Lebanese and half Mexican, her Mexican heritage could very well be largely Spanish (aka European aka white) or more mestizo (indigenous and European). Either way though, she was born wealthy (I believe her family is in the oil industry) so her saying she was told she’d just grow up to be a maid is ridiculous because that was NEVER going to happen to her. She’s playing victim. And being lighter complected with the facial features she has she has no idea what a darker black or indigenous Mexican woman whose features are less Eurocentric goes through, seeing as Mexico and Latin America worship light skin, hair, eyes and features that are more European and not Amerindian or African. I say this as someone who likes her but have a seat Salma :(

    • Ennie says:

      Salma is morena. Medium dark, not light. The mist common shade, I would say, not really dark not white or medium light.
      @littlestar, she was on biarding school in the US as a teen, and went back when she was an adult, and was told that she was going to only be a maid in movies.
      There is colorism, and racism in Mexico, but there is not an obsession with clarifying ethnicities, as we are most mestizos.
      I still need to read what she said thoroughly, but I disliked how some AA people/ celebs where dismissing latinos for trying to say something about the white oscars and the lack of latinos. These black people said something along the lines of “latinos have mouths, they can speak for themselves, we are refereing to AA here.”
      It sounded to me that some AA people where annoyed that the latinos or other ethnicities tried to claim that they have been the most underrepresented ethnicity in these last oscars.
      I feel that the wrongs agaisnt the AA population in the USA are bad, but I thought that some of these people were divisive of others. Salma is nit helping either, and she was born in privikege in Mexico, but I do think that she felt the backlash of being seen as good to represent only maids and sexy latin when she was born with a silver spoon. She still lives in privilege, and even if she is mediocre, there are many things in that she has been sort of a trailblazer. She became a mexican producer, she has created soem decent work for herself and other actors, american and otherwise of different ethnicities.
      She needs to be more acknowledging, but some people a year ago were not very inclusive either. I hope what we are seeing in the world helps us instead of making us worse. We need to unite, not divide.

  3. QQ says:

    She looks like she is in fact doing the Latin Lady Cosplay at the carpet, which is rich since behind closed doors she sounds like a Regular ass Cuban Lapping up that aspirational Im almost white and rich enough for my colorblindness to kick in 🙄😒 smdh

    I Hate all these women got to pile on on Jessica, and on top of the bare attempts of the queer women in the room to give perspective NOT ONLY THIS PATRONIZING ASS SH!T HAPPENS ( To a Lady having an up to then amazing time in Sundace with her Debut film) BUT IT GETS PRINTED AND REPORTED SO NOW SHE HAS TO ANSWER MORE DELICATE LILY ASS QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS

  4. detritus says:

    It looks like my moms easter tree come to life. That much baby duck yellow with the pink? Nope. Twee colour combination is just not going to work.

    And Salma never seems to recognize how good she had it. I don’t think this is the first tone deaf comment, and she deserves to be called out.

  5. Angie says:

    I’m disgusted by Salma. She basically Matt Damon’d Jessica & invalidated a history of oppression based on her perception & opinions.

    Unfortunately, it’s common for certain POC to dismiss other POC’s experiences because it simply hasn’t directly affected them. I’m not surprised by how quickly Salma tried to act as if Jessica’s struggles & the plight of black women as a whole is no longer an issue in 2017. Check your privilege.

    Colorism in Latin America is prevalent, always has been, & those of African descent have been looked at as unworthy for being non-Euro centric; I know firsthand.

    • Cee says:

      Colorism in Latin America is prevalent, always has been, & those of African descent have been looked at as unworthy for being non-Euro centric.

      YES. This is very true of Argentina. There is a distinction between being 100% descended from Europeans and being mixed raced.

      • Desirée says:

        It also happens against Natives (as in “indians”). In Colombia and Brazil, Natives are looked upon as inferior and primitive even by Blacks. I was extremely shocked to witness a friend’s black Brasilian husband racist comments against Natives from the Amazon. I couldn’t believe it. His wife (my friend), who is white, was mortified.

      • Cee says:

        Same happens here. Although some choose to live by themselves in their tribes, but, you know, after the spaniards practically killed them all, those who survived are discriminated against.

    • original kay says:

      I think Zoe Salanda(sp??) falls into this category too, if I am understanding your post correctly.

      She says, and therefore thinks, many troubling things.

    • tweetime says:

      Not just POC – how many times have I read threads about feminists where women use the same kind of language as Salma and Shirley MacLaine did here to fight against the feminist movement?
      “I choose to not see myself as a victim.”
      “I changed my outlook, it’s a choice.”
      “I work hard and make more money than my husband, so there’s no gender pay gap.”

      If nothing else, can everyone take a damn science class to learn the perils of anecdotal evidence? More to the point, it frustrates me that we’re so against recognizing the humanity of others that if we haven’t personally experienced something then contrary to the statistics and stories of others, it must not exist or matter.

      • Tata says:

        Yes, to this – “If nothing else, can everyone take a damn science class to learn the perils of anecdotal evidence?”

        I repeat this in my work all day long, to SO. MANY. THINGS.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Saw your comment and you’ve articulated my feelings exactly. +1000000000000000

      • Shirleygail says:

        If it weren’t for your despised “anecdotal evidence“ we wouldn`t know the half of it,. Anecdotal evidence starts most revolutions, not so much science.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        This. She does come off as clueless and a little bit condescending in that article, and I agree with you and Jessica Williams about the “not being a victim” language that comes up in conversations about racism and sexism.

      • tweetime says:

        @Shirleygail I don’t actually despise anecdotal evidence, I agree with you that it’s extremely helpful in certain (especially emotional) things. Example: the groundswell of sexual abuse stories that came out of Kelly Oxford’s invitation to share on Twitter earlier this year. My problem is with the number of people I’m seeing lately – in everything from food to feminism to racism to mental health – insisting someone else’s lived experience is wrong because THEY lived a different experience.
        I would politely disagree with you, however, that science doesn’t start revolutions :) .

    • Nicole says:

      You nailed it. Had this very conversation with a friend from Brazil about colorism in South America as well. It’s very prevalent.
      I read this story over the weekend and wanted to flip a table. THIS is why black women are hesitant to join things like Women’s March or these “open” panels. Because WW (not all but many) are not at all interested in what we have to say…they just want a pat on the back for being “woke” for a minute.
      Selma have all the seats

    • Shark Bait says:

      I love that “Matt Damon’d” is now a verb in our vernacular!

  6. ell says:

    i don’t disagree that hayek was condescending, many older women are when discussing with younger ones, but how on earth would you describe salma as ‘light skinned’ or passing? she’s mexican/lebanese and you can totally tell. she’s just being old, but she’s not speaking from privilege, when she says she’s had it hard she’s not lying.

    • Angie says:

      She proved she is privileged by dismissing black women’s struggles. Not to mention, she’s been wealthy & in a position of influence for the last 20-something years.

      She’s out of touch & believes all women are equal because we’re no longer in the 1950s or some ridiculous Bill O’Reilly talking point like that.

      • ell says:

        she’s out of touch yes, and thinks she can afford to be condescending to a younger woman. but no way she’s passing or light skinned, and had to certainly struggle to get where she got.

        not to mention she never managed to break the mould. has she ever played a main character whose main characteristic wasn’t being latina/hispanic, or being hyper-sexualised? the only reason she got to play frida kahlo is because she produced it herself, and that’s the only main role i can think she ever had that any substance.

      • perplexed says:

        I don’t know if she’s passing, but I think she’d be considered light skinned to some degree, at least compared to black actresses.

    • Daisy says:

      Well, Mexican could be completely European, and in most countries Lebanese falls under white.

      • ell says:

        but she’s not completely european; her mother is mexican and she’s saying she’s part arab?

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Mexican as in native American ( is that the right term?)? And Arabs fall under white in my country for an example.

      • Manjit says:

        You’re going to have to explain this to me, I’m afraid. Are these “alternative facts”?

      • ell says:

        ‘And Arabs fall under white in my country for an example.’

        i don’t understand how it’s possible. arabs are a mix, with different ancestry depending on where they’re from, so they can’t just be white.

      • Adrien says:

        Daisy, as in other countries. Lupita Nyong’o is Mexican (Kenyan parents of course), Keannu Reeves is Lebanese and Charlize Theron is African. Mexico is not a race. A lot of us are mixed race.

      • JS says:

        I am brazilian. I am darker than Salma but I’m considered white.
        Latinos are very racists and are raised to believe they are all white and to erase and hide any sign of non white ancestry (meaning: african).
        In Brazil the syrian refugees are considered white. It is also a common sense that japaneses and chineses are white because they have straight hair, light skin and slim nose.
        Brazilians doesn’t even see themselves as latinos…it’s absolutely insane!!!
        I’m pretty sure she see herself as a white woman with the “exotic” latin an arabic ancestry….

      • geekychick says:

        what is Locke trying to say, and I know bc I am from the same country, is that we don-t recognize those race classes the same as in USA or North America in general. Where we live, it is not white=Anglo-Saxon, North European. Arab, Turkish, Latin America…it-s all white to us. Asians are not white, black people are not white, First Nations are not white. I-d never dream of telling a Turkish or Lebanon man, or an Armenian, or a Mexican that he-s not white.
        I don-t think about being non white as an offense, don/t get me wrong. We are so predominately white country (we have no history of slavery or immigration) that the concept of other race as something less than never occured to us, traditionally (we also have racists, don-t worry, and a pretty problematic past during WWII).

    • Merry says:

      The thing with Salma and people like Jlo is that although they are latina and have darker complections than say Amy Adams, they have a proximity to whiteness that allows them not just entry but are actually viewed as exotic and more desirable than even white women. I am not endorsing this sexualisation but to pretend that these latinas are not the most privilleged WOC is absurd. The “right” kind of brown will open many doors. Just look at the Kardashians, pale women who darken their complection to approximate that “exotic” look so that they are not quite white but not quite that “unacceptable brown”.

      • ell says:

        but just the notion of being considered ‘exotic’ is insulting, discriminating and you feel fetishised. she was never offered the same roles as amy adams, because only white women get to play complex 3 dimensional characters.

        it bothers me to defend her, because she was very annoying in this discussion, condescending and like i said out of touch. i disagree with the notion she’s had it easy though, because she didn’t. how many actresses who are latinas and look like her can you think of that made it in the industry? also the kardashians aren’t actors, they’ve started as reality tv people that crossed to social media, so their fake af aestethic is a different matter entirely.

      • Cee says:

        I’ve experienced this in the reverse. I’m very pale (think of Nicole Kidman) and have auburn hair and light eyes. I am latin but of european descent. So when people in the US learn I’m Latin they 1) dispute this, 2) tell me it’s a pity I’m not darker because I just look like a white woman (which I am, but whatever)

        Women like Sofia Vergara and even Jennifer Lopez do not help (sometimes through no fault of their own).

      • Merry says:

        @Ell

        But who said she had it easy? Nobody, not even Casey Affleck as white guy with super connections has it easy, which is why we always speak in comparative terms. Casey Affleck has it easier than Emma Stone. Emma Stone has it easier than Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek has it easier than Jessica Williams and on it goes.

        One of the ways “correctly complected” latinas have it easier is that they never have to fight to be accepted as beautiful or desireable because frankly on that subject they are on the top of the pyramid. And unfortunately, THIS is the most important metric in Hollywood. Not your talent first, how you look. Occassional women bypass it but it isnt easy. It should also not surprise you to find out that when you IMDB the list of latina actresses, the only distinctly afrolatina actress on the list is Zoe Saldana. On the not-fatally dark but still-not-European-enough, you have Rosario Dawson and America Ferera. ALL the rest have that “safely exotic” look, closely resembling Mediterinian Europeans.

        And its those “safely exotic” who come to the casting room with a significant advantage over other actresses of color. The ability to audition for “white roles” including love interest for white leads, without having to note it as an interracial relationship. Look through Salma, Jlos, Eva Mendez et cetera careers for copious examples. They can also help dilute the “blackness” of a movie with a black lead to make it more appealing to the mainstream without having a risky white female lead. See Rosario Dawson and Eva Mendez career. And they can pick up work to project the illusion of diversity in all white casts e.g Eva Longoria. In other words they straddle two worlds.

        Of course Salma also has that accent but ask yourself if Lupita Nyongo would have a 20 year Hollywood career with a strong African accent. Would Mindy Kaling in a strong Indian one? In fact lets really make this interesting. Would Gina Torres, a significantly more talented afrolatina actress have had ANY career with a heavy accent?

      • sanders says:

        Merry, both your posts are great. How racism impacts different poc communities is a complicated subject. US white supremacy has a hierarchy even if it is not codified as it was in apartheid South Africa.
        I have noticed the same thing about Latina actresses as romantic interests to black and white men. The most recent example was the Chris Rock movie.

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

      I agree that she definitely looks “ethnic” by American standards; how she would be taken in other countries I cannot say. Unfortunately being a child of untold wealth, a movie star, the wife of a white French billionaire, and beautiful in her own right has obviously caused her to live in a bubble and form some unsavory opinions of other peoples’ struggle. It’s a shame. Wasn’t she all about the women’s equality a few years back?

    • Nikki Girl says:

      It is absurd to me that you’re defending her in any way. She literally dismissed a black woman’s experience, and spoke over her. I don’t care if she looks whiter or darker, she SPOKE OVER a black woman and acted like her own experience as a Latina was more important than this black woman’s life experience. I don’t care how old she is, if you are NOT BLACK, you DO NOT pretend to know what it is to be black in this country! Ever! I am also Mexican, living in the U.S., and I have NEVER been treated as badly as many of the black people in my city and my country. I do NOT talk over other black women when they are describing their oppression, I don’t pretend to understand it because I am Mexican, I LISTEN.

    • Snowflake says:

      She might not have had it easy but I don’t think she’s had it as hard as an AA woman. Salma is considered a “hot Latina,” so many people are going to give her a pass. while there is some discrimination against Latin women, not as much as against AA women. You don’t see very many AA women in modeling, print, etc. There is a Mexican guy at work who said hedidn’t experience discrimination. Obvs, that’s not true, but he wants to assimilate with white people so he adopts their way of thinking, so I think in his head, by doing that, he feels he Will get more privelege. I think Salma is the same way, she’s a minority when it helps her, otherwise she tries to blend in with whites. She is the stereotypical trophy wife to a rich billionaire. Even though she’s got money and fame, she’s going to be around the White rich people and adopt their line of thinking.

      I’m white so this is IMO. But this election has really shown me that I do have a lot of privilege as a white woman. My husband is mixed and has been open to me about his experiences.

      • Saks says:

        But you are assuming she hasn’t had it that difficult. I mean, her experiences aren’t less worth it because you consider her “lighter”. Although having being benefitted by being a “sexy latina” (a problematic category in itself) she has been vocal (in Spanish interviews) that those weren’t the roles she originaly wanted but those were the only ones given to her.

        I’m not giving her a pass, what she did was wrong. She should have tried to understand what Jessica was saying because is an experience she doesn’t get, still that doesn’t make her own struggles less.

      • Melly says:

        I get so annoyed when anyone calls someone a “snowflake”. It always comes across as ignorant and makes me generally angry.

      • Ennie says:

        Snowflake, even if Salma needs a slap on the head to make her listen, I disagree with you tabt she is the stereotypical trophy wife.
        She and her husband are almost the same age. He looks older, but so what.
        She is an entrepreneur who had businesses of her own before she got married to said billionaire. I think that’s
        What he liked about her, she is not sitting there looking pretty. She is awful, but I think that is what she meant in the middle of the word spew she threw up. I think she needs to be taught more humility to be seated at such round tables.

  7. manda says:

    Wow. Salma just told Jessica the way she felt was wrong. It’s tough to talk about race and not sound like a bit of an asshole, at the least, but whoa. I can relate to Jessica’s comments about being seen as “just a woman” and it is the most dehumanizing and humiliating experience. I disagree with Salma’s point that you can choose to ignore that. It’s being imposed upon you, there is no way to ignore that. I think they were essentially telling her to ignore that, I guess the implication is that they had to for all those years, but obviously all experiences are different. Maybe they were trying too hard to keep it positive. Whatever the reason, very insulting

  8. Rapunzel says:

    “I was the first one”–Oh, Salma, no you weren’t.

    “There was no movement” “I understand”- no, Salma, you don’t get it at all.

  9. Cynthia says:

    She was trying to have a conversation. I think is very dangerous when people are painted villains because they are sincerely trying to understand the other side. We are so quick to paint someone the villain. We need to get to a place where is ok to have these tough conversations, without been judged so harshly

  10. Greenieweenie says:

    I think a lot of people from other countries don’t understand the civil rights movement. They think it was just some sign of the times that organically captured the imagination of the country. Not the case at all. People don’t understand the degree to which black Americans have a concrete political identity—a hugely important one—because this is how they have secured their rights.

    • QQ says:

      100% THIS i see it all the time with my Domician Family, Ive educated myself on this stuff but tons of my family believe hook line and sinker that white old folks rethoric that black people (not Them LOL cause They THINK they arent’t THOSE Black people 🙄🙄🙄) “they have it good here and are just complaining” Though the past two years I also see them slowly waking up to reality… For example they didnt at all know the story of segregated pools etc and so my mom and I talked about it I read her articles during the Olympics ( is a function of not coming to this country young thus not getting those history lessons and romanticizing the US as a Marvel Land of Uber abundance and well to politely put it colonizer worship/ These are folks that talk about pelo malo and bettering the race by marrying white -lighter folks … all shameful sh!t taught by their parents parents generation upon generation, Though Im heartened in the open way me my sister and my mom have started bluntly talking about these types of things and the upbringing of her kids)

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Respectability politics. I hate them, no matter who they come from.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        You are right, the immigrant is often the last to understand black American political identity. White Americans generally understand it implicitly, even if only to define themselves against it. But you see a lot of African immigrants, for example, who just don’t identify with black political identity even though they are black and their experience is shaped by it whether they know it or not. Immigrants are about the work ethic, but black Americans know–at a fundamental level–it isn’t about that.

  11. Becky says:

    Well there are rumours that Salma is a bit of a b****, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  12. Adrien says:

    If you are going to start your sentence with”baby”,”sweetie”, “honey”,”Dear” I will interpret that as condescending, even insulting.
    Salma, the only ones who are going to get maid roles are non light skinned Mexicans like Adriana Baraza (And Lupita Nyong’o, heh!). White passing Mexicans will always be viewed as Castillian even with that heavy accent.

    • Ennie says:

      Adriana Barraza is actually quite light. She is styled as a maid in the USA, but she does different roles in Mexico. Sad that she is cast as solely a maid in the US.
      About Elizabeth Peña and Rosie Perez, et al. Many of those Latin actresses are actually very American, US born. It is very differenti from the experience of arriving as an adult and be stwreotyoed at these type of roles.
      Velez, del Rio, , etc. had to leave as sion as sound was included in movies. Dolores went back to work in Mexico. They also had ethereal beauty, they were far from the “typical” mexican. Dolores was from a very affluent family.
      Actually we will be lucky if they allow foreigners at all.

  13. Div says:

    I 100 percent agree with Jessica and as a Black woman I understand her dislike of Salma wrongly saying we can overcome by not calling ourselves victims. It was tone-deaf and ignorant AF. Not only did Salma say something tone-deaf, but she was also condescending later on…like I maybe could have overlooked the tone deaf element if she hadn’t been so condescending.

    Now, here’s probably a polarizing hot take. Salma’s ignorant take….is something I’ve heard on occasion from members of my Black, immigrant family. All of my cousins and I have heard comments of “yeah, life is unfair and racist, but you are so lucky to be in America so stop feeling sorry for yourselves.” It’s irritating because we aren’t asking our older relatives to feel sorry for us, we are just commenting on the injustice and racism in the world. I do believe that sometimes people tend to think of anyone from the US as privileged, even those who are oppressed in the US, and so while they (older generation like people in my fam) recognize that they are hurt by systematic racism…they don’t want to acknowledge just how bad that systematic racism is at this time.

    The said, Salma comes from an incredibly rich Mexican family…and my family is Black and was poor as sh*t in a Caribbean island nation (trying not to get to personal). So while I can recognize that people like the older generation in my family might see “American” privilege and therefore wrongly reject the idea of victim hood even for the oppressed, Salma doesn’t have that excuse.

  14. Cee says:

    I’m sorry but which latino actress or actor is really successful and portraying different characters and not a gangster, cartel lord, maid, prison dude, Miami girl in distress?
    Salma has done NOTHING. There is a movement but it is smaller. If african americans are a minority in Hollywood then latinos are practically invisible.

    A latino struggling does not diminish the plight of other minorities. Unless you’re white (and a man) then you will struggle. How dare she measure her struggle as greater than Williams’

    • Daisy says:

      But isn’t the accent part of the problem? JLo, for an example was in successful romantc comedies etc, Selena Gómez too. But Salma has an accent. Even white people with accents can’t make it. How many Russians or Germans with accents made it? And if they do they portray criminals and prostitutes or Nazis.

      • Cee says:

        I was going to state how Sofia Vergara’s put upon accent is doing us a disservice but thought no one would get it so thank you for bringing it up.

      • Maria says:

        Can we also add Penelope Cruz to this discussion. I have heard her speak and her English vocabulary is impressive. But yet, through years and years of partially living in the US and being imerged in the culture, her accent has never improved? Give me a break. It is obviously a commercial decision to keep the ‘exotic latin flavor’.

        I have met other fellow Spaniards (as myself) who manage to improve their spoken English with time…..it is not impossible as Sofia or Penelope make it seem.

      • Daisy says:

        Penelope is not a Latina, is she?

        Well, I know a few people from Slovenia who speak English with almost no accent, yet Melanina Trump sounds like she left the country yesterday. It’s a very individual thing. And having an accent that’s not french or British is never helpful In Hollywood.

      • Cee says:

        I have a standard american accent so I can “camouflage” myself. I don’t look or sound “other”. Penelope Cruz is not latina but she capitalises on her hispanic-ness.

        Perhaps they don’t have the ability to improve an accent and that doesn’t bode well for an actor (I’m not even touching Melania Trump today. I need a Trump cleanse).

      • Anilehcim says:

        How is Penelope Cruz not Latina? She’s Spaniard. Spain is Latin European. Latina/Latino doesn’t only pertain to one region of the world. She is a Hispanic, Latina woman.

      • Anilehcim says:

        @Cee, with all due respect, I’ve heard Sofia speak in interviews and I find almost no difference between her accent when she plays Gloria and her accent in real life. The only difference I’ve picked up on is that she purposely pronounces words wrong and whines a lot on Modern Family. She speaks perfect English in real life, but her accent is still strong.

        @Maria I agree with you about the “exotic Latin flavor” being a stereotype in Hollywood that is largely the only reason Hollywood has embraced many Latina/Latino stars. One of the few Salma Hayek movies I’ve seen was “Fools Rush In,” in which she plays a character with pretty much every stereotypical Latina characteristic. Salma has been hypersexualized as the Latina bombshell. So has Sofia. I do tend to believe that Hollywood is only accepting of these women because they’re willing to embrace these stereotypes. However, on the accent thing, I strongly disagree that it is somehow a choice. My uncles are from Cuba… born and raised there until their late teens when they came here to escape Castro. The eldest has a thick accent after 50+ years of being in the U.S., and he has a great grasp on the language and speaks perfect English. His brothers, my other 2 uncles, have only the slightest traces of an accent. It’s very strange how accents can be at times and how some people just never lose them.

      • mp says:

        @Anilehcim, what????????? Spaniards are latinos???? have you been to Spain??? I always heard they were consiered europeans, and white (not all of them of course), but in general terms white. I also notice that americans tend to see all spanish speaking people as latinos….

      • Cee says:

        @MP And you will find that in some Latin American countries people are WHITE because their great and grandparents were european! We’re still hispanic but born in the LATIN AMERICAN region, home to the dead Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The only difference between Penelope Cruz and Sofia Vergara is place of birth. In fact, my own mother, the granddaughter of Galicians and Basques, is whiter than Penelope Cruz but deemed inferior because she was born in South America. This is the problem with race and stereotypes.

      • Cee says:

        @Anilehcim I’ve heard some interviews (old ones, mind) in which her accent is different. Completely subdued. She turns it on for a single purpose, and that’s her brand. Same with her hair colour when she had very dark hair.

        Anyway, I’m not against strong accents. Some people can’t shake them off, or don’t want to, and that’s acceptable. I’m just knocking those who use a harming stereotype to advance themselves, sometimes by following old school advice and trying to make it.

      • mp says:

        Hey Cee, I know, i’m from southamerica, we are like a benetton ad lol, but to say that spaniards are latino….yeah no, I don’t think it’s right; but it’s also not correct to say that all southamericans ( let’s call it that, not latinos because I think that’s different) look the same, we come from all places.

  15. what's inside says:

    What Salma wants, Salma gets. A spoiled woman who is a drama queen.

  16. Original T.C. says:

    Wow, that’s some crazy patronizing and tone deafness from Salma. I guess she hasn’t noticed that the only Hispanic or Latinas who made it in Hollywood are as close to White as possible like her, Sofia V., J.Lo. No one darker than a brown paper bag because they would look too “ethnic”.

    Along the same way as you have a greater chance of being successful in Hollywood if you are a light-skinned Biracial woman instead of a brown skinned Black woman. Again as close to White as possible. It is always a harder struggle when your race or ethnicity is obvious from a mile away which helps people deny you a seat at the table.

    Willing to bet a dark Brown Latina gets followed by cops more than one of Salma or Sofia’s complexion or more Anglo features. Don’t you think those women are already exhausted just waking up in the morning from being profiled?

  17. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    I disagree with Salma on two different fronts: her gross reaction to Jessica’s comments and her comments about giving jobs to women. Almost everything Salma and Shirley said was just disrespectful and dismissive.

    1) What is so hard for people to understand that our experiences make us who were are? The idea of asking someone to separate their race from their gender is absolutely impossible and also does not help end racism/discrimination. Your culture and your gender help shape you into the adult you turn into and cannot be removed like a hat or a pair of shoes.

    2) Her comments about getting a job because she is a girl (paraphrasing). First, this is dumb because the opportunities for male and females in the industry are not equal. No one’s giving you a position because you’re a woman. What we are trying to do is balance out the differences is by taking a different look at what we consider talented and try to think outside of the box by giving others opportunities to be successful or fail. Unexamined prejudice is a real thing and influences each decision that we make. Taking deliberate actions to fix this is not the same as what white men have been doing with the “good ole” boys club.

  18. Rapunzel says:

    Salma benefits from being married to a billionaire… So why was she even asked about the current struggles of POC?

  19. TyrantDestroyed says:

    Well Salma Hayek comes from a privileged family, runs a successful company and married to a billionaire. Her biased opinions are obviously based on the way she perceives the world and is not the first time she expresses that.
    Take her opinion with that context. She is basically the Ivanka Trump of the actresses. I think she should retire from the business industry and focus on her businesses. Since she became very wealthy every time she opens her mouth she sounds dumb and unappropriated.

    • Jeesie says:

      It’s weird how much she changed. Early in her career she was great about calling out racism in the industry, none of this ‘a positive attitude will fix everything’ bs. And around the time she made Frida she had a lot of interesting stuff to say about feminism, modern marriage etc.

      Now she’s an airhead who does things like this and talks proudly about how she cooks her husband 3 course meals so he doesn’t throw a tantrum.

      • Shijel says:

        This baffles me too. I am, or was, a huge fan. I still think that she’s a beauty, and a very talented actress, but I also remember her being very, very different with her approach to racism, privilege etc as a PoC actress with a distinct accent on top of everything. Didn’t she fight hard to get Frida made?

        What happened there? How does a person do such a 180?
        Note to self, I guess. Get comfortable, but never get rich.

      • Anilehcim says:

        I’ve actually lost a lot of respect for Salma since she’s been married to her billionaire Groupe Artémis-president husband. She has made remarks in interviews that directly imply that she has given up on any independence she once had to be a subservient wife to her husband simply because she likes the comfort of being married to a billionaire. I’m still rolling my eyes at her stating in an interview that he picks out her clothes for her. Another one like Kim K who looks like absolute crap all the time because she lacks a spine/personality and serves as a Barbie doll for her possessive husband. Just my 2 cents.

  20. Marty says:

    I think the trap that many women, and WoC, fall into is equating the discrimination they faced. It’s easy for Salma to say “don’t be a victim” when she hasn’t had to grow up and try to be successful as a black women.

    And I think the point Jessica was trying to make was that she doesn’t personally feel like a victim, but she falls victim to preconceived notions she has no control over. She knows herself, but there are so places in she will walk into and the only thing people will see is her gender or race before they see who she is as a person, and then they form an opinion of her based on that alone. That hinders her success because she has to work twice as hard to prove she’s more than the stereotypes placed upon her. So to be dismissed like that is so incredibly frustrating.

  21. Jayna says:

    First of all, Salma was a successful actress in her own country, Mexico. Jessica was born here and is describing different issues even in that way, having problems in this field in her own country.

    Second of all, Salma is guilty of what a lot of people are, not really listening, just waiting to jump in and take over the conversation. We’ve all been guilty of it, just waiting to jump in, or talk over, and deliver our story on the subject. When I was younger, because of ADD, I know I was guilty of it, or internally knew I wasn’t really listening, just waiting to jump in. We’ve all had someone one up us as we were trying to relate something that happened to us.

    Salma needed to really listen, to ask questions of Jessica regarding what her experiences were, not jump in and direct the conversation back to herself. She was not truly listening to Jessica, or she would have continued with follow-up questions, and then listened to Jessica’s answers.

    I once read that First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s best quality starting back from when a young woman was truly being interested in the other person and what they had to say, a great listener. That stuck with me.

    Salma was too busy trying to tell Jessica how to feel, how to act and react to this industry’s treatment of black women, and jumping back to her own experiences, which is different, and not letting Jessica finish articulating what she, as a black female artist, has gone through. I don’t think Salma is a bad person, just one of those types of people I listed above, directing the conversation back to herself and also telling someone else how they should feel, when she’s never experienced racism in the exact same way they have in the industry or life.

    Listen more, really listen, and talk less, Salma, when someone is trying to get their point across. It definitely came off dismissive.

    • Lascivious says:

      Nice comment, Jayna. You described the problem clearly and calmly, and were able to articulate your thoughts without resorting to name-calling. Your respectful response is a nice example of productive contribution. It seems you’ve learned a lot since your “waiting to jump in” days. Thanks for showing us how it’s done.

    • Keaton says:

      Great comment Jayna. I have a number of people in my life just like Salma – although they’re usually men! It’s very annoying to deal with someone that doesn’t listen and uses a patronizing tone/words and dismiss your experience. But as you said, they’re just anxious to jump in and SAY something. They aren’t interested in having a conversation. Salma may mean well but she’s oblivious and frankly rude.

      I feel bad for Jessica because it appears like when she felt misunderstood she shut down. It’s hard not to take it personally when someone behaves like Salma did. (When the truth is that Salma likely acts that way with everyone and you’re likely to deal with Salma’s over and over again – especially the male variety.). I hope in the future Jessica finds a way to ignore the condescension and keep talking because she has a valid point to share. A point that went totally over these ladies heads.

      Also, I suspect alot of people commenting didn’t read the link to the full story. Salma still comes across as rude and oblivious but (weirdly) I think she actually meant well: As if she had this great wisdom she wanted to share with the younger women. lol. Jessica comes across well – smart, thoughtful, etc. But she definitely shut down and that’s unfortunate. Shirley is flakey af. What does the democracy inside even mean?

  22. Radley says:

    She thinks she was the first??? I’m also baffled by that statement. She’s 50. Well Rita Moreno is 85. You might wanna have a chat with her. That’s just for starters.

    Narcissism seems to be at the heart of her tone deaf comments.

  23. Anilehcim says:

    Salma has said so much dumb shit over the years so this does not surprise me. I haven’t respected Salma in ages.

    I don’t understand how anyone can try to refute the hardship that Black women continue to endure in this country. Telling a Black woman to “change her way of thinking” and “stop viewing herself as a victim” is when the conversation is just totally over, because it is an enormous red flag showing that those women giving their ridiculous advice are lost in their privilege and there is simply going to be no changing their minds or making them understand.

  24. Saks says:

    Yes it sounds awful but she talks like this. And I think it doesn’t sound so bad when translated to Spanish (remember we think in our native languages). Also, maybe (just speculating here) she wanted to make a bigger statement given the fact that she belongs to the two group more attacked in the US: Mexican and Arab.

    I hope Salma learns from this. She is not a bad person and her experiences aren’t less valuable because there is someone who suffers more (which is actually the point of the backlash and yet…).

    On the other hand, and in my opinion, the bigger conversation is that we think we are the firsts and the only or most discriminated. We tend to do that a lot (and many of us have fallen into that trap) even on this site. The movement is there and we need to keep moving towards acting as a whole supporting each other.

  25. littlemissnaughty says:

    If some b*tch called me “Baby” before talking to me like that, I’d slap her. Jessica is obviously classier than moi. Or can’t afford to slap a billionaire’s wife.

    I don’t understand what’s so hard about this. We all have our own experiences and it’s perfectly fine to share them. But if we want to be heard, we need to listen as well. Why can’t these rich idiots, women or men, not listen??? It drives me mad. It’s not a competition. Jessica Williams is telling us about her experience and Salma can’t help herself; she has to convince us how she struggled so much more (no you didn’t BABY) and isn’t fazed by it all. She doesn’t need movements and support, no. She just needs her rack. Gimme a break.

  26. frigga says:

    Salma did a good job of making herself look dumb. Jessica Williams seems very talented and intelligent and she is also funny.

  27. minx says:

    Salma is smug and entitled, so I love that she is wearing this hideous getup.

  28. Chaz says:

    I fail to see how this is a surprise to anyone. Salma has been a condescending tit for a very long time. She looks down at people from the top of a very high privileged mountain.

  29. YepIsaidit says:

    Does she realize people are still being told to go back home or to just play the maid? Just because they don’t tell her that anymore she’s thinks it’s over. Selfish.

  30. Dorotea says:

    Salma Hayek has a reputation of beign a bitch among the Latino Community. She didn’t want to answers from an Univision reporter few years ago (English only she said to the reporter) in a press conference. She comes from a very wealthy Lebanese family who moved to Mexico so the “you can only be a maid in this country” comment, definetely not apply to her. She went to private schools, traveled the world, became a Telenovelas actress in Mexico and moved to L.A. Now she is married to a billionaire living the best life in Paris.

    • mp says:

      ahaha lols yesssss, is like people think that latinos only come from poor backgrounds, they are many southamericans (to use a broader tem) millionares, living great lives, and Salma has never been poor, I remember her E True hollywood story or some show like that, and she was telling her experience when she first arrive to LA, she told this story about calling this big agency and demanding to speak to the William Morris (or something like that), because she thought that was the person she should be talking to, and even at that moment it amazed me the way she told that experience laughting, like she was so naive….but to me that meant that, that was actually the way she was/is, because in her country being a rich girl she could demand things.

      So yeah no, I doubt she fully understands the struggle of other minorities and if at some point people were racist towards her it must have been mind blowing for her.

  31. wilson says:

    WOW…. at everyone trying to turn Salma into a White woman…

  32. Esteph says:

    As a Latina…I cringed when I read this, more so for Salma…She went there, and IMO it’s like comparing apples & oranges

  33. Adele Dazeem says:

    Remember when we were all wondering aloud post election how on earth Trump won and how could those stats of minorities and or women that voted for Trump be true?
    Here’s a high profile example.

    They are out there. I’ve been amazed post election how many people are quietly admitting their political views and votes. It’s almost as disconcerting to me as the election outcome itself.

  34. Bliss 51 says:

    I am a light skinned Hispanic-American woman of Mexican, Spanish, Jewish and Yacqui descent older than Hayek, younger than Williams. I grew up in a time when the majority of my Hispanic classmates had very dark complexions and thick accents. They were the ones who faced the barrage of full out, in your face prejudice whereas what I encountered fell into a shady prejudice.

    My mother was always proud of our light complexions and always told me never to marry a “Mexican.” That meant never marry someone with a dark complexion. To marry an “Anglo” was stepping up, you see. Its been a couple of years since I’ve watched a novela but you never ever saw an Indigenous actor. There was a firewall when I went to the article but I was curious if MacClaine added to that conversation. I recall her comments that Jews were paying for their karma when they were sent to Nazi concentration camps.

  35. Ana says:

    This is a prime example of good messages getting lost in empty rethoric. They all stay with an out of context line instead of taking a look at the whole thing and try to understand what the other person is saying.

    It’s clear to me by reading the whole article that a) Jessica Williams was unable to express herself properly, and was feeling awkward about being put in the spotlight. If you want to make a statement, not even making eye contact won’t help you much. b) Salma Hayek got in the industry at a time when no one really talked about the rightful place women and people of color should have in the industry. The ones who worked hard against the odds often feel like the movement gets lost in the “respect me because I’m a minority” instead of “respect me because I’m a person with talent and skills”. It was the same thing that Shirley MacLaine was saying, by the way. Doesn’t mean she’s right and Jessica isn’t, but both generations should learn from each other. c) Both were talking about different things, but because Jessica was intimidated she couldn’t get her point across, which is a pity. Especially because she got cut off in the end (not by Salma) and couldn’t explain why she didn’t understand.

    Attacking Salma over a very valid opinion is completely counter productive. Not to mention “she’s in trouble” because social media says she is? Please.

  36. pwal says:

    I remember when Salma and Penelope Cruz made the distinction that JLo wasn’t Hispani because she didn’t speak Spanish.

    I also remember when she commented that Angelina should’ve ‘had more faith’ instead of having the mastectomies.

    The only things on Salma’s resume is Frida and Ugly Betty, which was a good wbile ago, so why was she even there?

  37. Libra girl says:

    Salma Hayek has always had an arrogance about her with nothing to back it up. Other then her breasts and marriage to a petrified billionaire, Salma ain’t s***.

  38. mayamae says:

    I’ve always found her condescending. Remember her story of letting the little Hispanic peasant children play with her little princess, and eat the candy from her pinata? But she’s gotten a lot of passes here for having a fabulous figure, and a youthful face. The same way Ivanka used to get all the passes.

    And as others have pointed out, she only got Latina rolls because she was unable to lose the accent. And here’s another actress who came before her – Elizabeth Pena.

  39. Guesting says:

    It’s ironic how Selma Damonsplained to Jessica and so many commentators are doing the same about her.
    She was deadass wrong. So very wrong.

    But it doesn’t make it right to downplay any racism/classism/culturism that she experienced. It doesn’t matter if she’s rich, light skinned, etc. If she experienced it while being a spoiled entitled brat, then she still experienced it.

    Also, I’m putting on BLAST those that jeered some actresses for still having a Spanish accent. My mom is 70. She’s been in the us since 21. Still has an accent and it’s not for show. EVEN IF IT WERE FOR SHOW, it’s no body’s damn business. There is nothing wrong with an accent and people get to choose whether to keep them or not and no one should make judgment on it. On that you should sit down and shut it!!!
    I live in the South and get asked all the time where I’m from just based on my non-accent. I can’t change it no matter how long I’ve lived here.

    Being Latino/Hispanic is complex within its own countries not to mention being one in the US, so STAHP trying to define it for Selma or for anyone else.

    Again, I say she was wrong. She has something to learn but to deny her experience and tear her down into basic trash is the opposite of what is needed.

    • EJ says:

      Well said Guesting. Some of these commenters need to reevaluate their posts because they are doing exactly what they are accusing Salma of doing by minimizing her experience in this country as well as her status as a POC. She’s an immigrant WOC, an as such will encounter distinct issues than a black woman. Neither experience needs to be downplayed, which is why it’s important to have these conversations.

      That being said, Salma needs to sit down and listen. She chose not to impose her views and completely disregarded Jessica.

  40. Bliss 51 says:

    Salma Hayek failed to listen to Jessica Williams. Period.

  41. Rocio says:

    Hi! This probably will be a foot in mouth situation for me because we don’t have this kind of discussion in my country (ethnics, religion or skin colour) but I’m Argentinean and my ancestors were Italians, Frenchs and Russians. Unless we are talking about language (a romance language), I’m no Latina. I look more like Claire Foy than Salma Hayek so I don’t understand why everyone below the border is considered Latina/o or a Sofia Vergara impersonator. WTF? In the rest of America, we are as multicultural as in the states.

    Again, in my country, it’s hard (and dangerous sometimes) to be a woman regardless your background, colour or age.

    • perplexed says:

      I was actually wondering how the Latina designation works in countries like Argentina and Chile, where a lot of people look physically to be of European descent. Is Latina simply a language designation, or does it refer to other things as well?

      • doodde says:

        Alot of Mexicans look white. The upper classes are composed of people of European descent. It isn’t exclusive to Argentina or Chile.

        Latina just means from Latin America.

        Argentinians like to think of themselves as “European” so that’s why they eschew the Latino label. But personally I think there full of shit on that regard, they just don’t like to be lumped in with the rest of us.

    • doodde says:

      Latino just means from a country in Latin America…a country in the Americas ruled by Spain or Portugual…

      It has nothing to do with the color of your skin or your culture. Even when they have done DNA tests Argentinean have native ancestry (in the mitochondrial DNA like the rest of Latinos….Spanish raped the women and killed the men) so I dunno why you guys insist on not being called Latino. Alot of European immigrants is not exclusive to Argentina.

  42. Stella in NH says:

    I felt embarrassed and appalled the way they shut down Jessica Williams. Jessica made some very compelling points and they just fluffed. I applaud Jessica in bringing up the black and trans community. Shame on those women for not being inclusive. We need to speak for all women. Not just for the white ones.

  43. MB says:

    So much ado about nothing.
    Salma is just as entitled to her opinion as anyone else. She didn’t say that Jessica’s experience was wrong or invalid, she just put forward an opinion about how to deal with it based on her own experience. Jessica didn’t have to agree, and clearly she didn’t. and that’s ok too.

    Also, Salma says “baby” a lot. It’s not a condescending thing unless you really want it to be, ffs.

    • pink parasole says:

      The logical gymnastics some of you do to avoid seeing *certain* times of behavior is mind blowing. 1. nobody said Salma can’t have an opinion, but you should not be dismissive OR interrupt others in order to talk over their opinion 2. She did attempt to invalidate Jessica’s opinion by explicitly saying “i’ve had it harder” and “i didn’t have a movement”-what do you THINK she was implying? 3. You know damn well calling an adult woman who is not your child, lover or girlfriend “baby” is condescending. I’m sure if Salma were a man you wouldn’t even think twice about this.

  44. sunshine gold says:

    She’s from a wealthy background, she went to boarding school in the US, she’s married to a billionaire, and she’s gotten really far in Hollywood because she’s pretty and sexy. So overall, I don’t think she can comment on her ‘struggle.’ Plus, she always wears her dresses too small.

  45. NoKiddingCat says:

    You owe an apology to cheap bridesmaid’s and quinceanera dresses world wide. Oh, and STFU & sit down Salma. That’s all I’ve got.

  46. ellieohara says:

    The only silver lining about Orange Hitler being in office is that people will no longer be able to structure the news cycle around demonizing celebrity misstatements like this. Because there’s too much real stuff to deal with.

    Poor Jessica Williams. She thought she’d be able to spend the next week or so being called a hero but unfortunately the world is on fire.

    • klm says:

      @ellieohara How sad you’re not able to multi-task and pay attention to various things happening at the same time. Jessica put her opinions forward on an important topic and got brushed aside instead of really listened to. It’s rightfully being discussed.