Alfonso Cuarón’s win for Best Director at the 2019 Oscars marks the fifth time since 2014 that the award has gone to a Mexican filmmaker. Cuarón won in 2014 for Gravity and again this year for Roma, while compatriot Alejandro González Iñárritu took the honor in 2015 (for Birdman) and 2016 (for The Revenant), followed by Guadalajara-born Guillermo del Toro in 2018 for The Shape of Water.
Salma Hayek, who also hails from our neighbor to the south, couldn’t be prouder. The actress — an Oscar nominee herself, for 2002’s Frida — took the opportunity to celebrate Cuarón’s victory with a jab at President Trump.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president with a speech attacking Mexico.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said in a statement that’s been decried as racist and offensive. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In a video posted by Hayek on Monday, those vitriolic words are interlaced with footage of Cuarón, Iñárritu and del Toro winning their Oscars.
Hayek noted that in addition to Best Director, Cuarón and Roma took home awards for Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film.
Her statement and support of her home country earned raves from her followers on social media. Many posted Mexican flag emojis, including male model Tyson Beckford, who commented, “F*** Trump!”
But others didn’t appreciate her response to Trump. Several waded into the comments to defend his controversial statements and condemn illegal immigrants. Cuarón, Iñárritu and del Toro — known as a the “Three Amigos” — are exceptions because they are presumably in the U.S. legally, many argued.
“Stay out of politics beautiful,” chided one person. “Your an actress and you have your own opinion, which doesn’t make you right, just saying!”
“When are the idiots in Hollywood going to keep their mouths shut?” complained another follower.
“Talking about illegal immigrants and gangs but somehow that correlates to Oscar winners?” read a comment.
“The dude was talking about a gang of assassins and rapists who send people across the border to sell drugs but sure, make it all about racism,” someone added.
“It’s sad that that’s all these award shows do now days, is get political and bash our president,” a Trump supporter wrote. “It’s simply pathetic.”
Hayek’s fans fought back against the conservative criticism.
“Agent Orange mentions Mexican people in his hateful speech,” one wrote. “This gives us Mexicans a right to react.”
When accepting his Best Director Oscar in 2018, del Toro referenced his status as an immigrant.
“I am an immigrant,” he said. “In the last 25 years I’ve been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere. Because I think the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”
Meanwhile, Trump has reacted to what he perceived as an attack on him in Spike Lee’s acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay on Sunday night. After Lee told the audience to “be on the right side of history,” Trump accused him of being “racist.”
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