Salma Hayek’s Comment on Mexican Roots Sparks Controversy

By ABC News

Aug 24, 2012 1:45pm
gty Salma Hayek thg 120824 wblog Salma Hayeks Comment on Mexican Roots Sparks Controversy

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Remarks by Salma Hayek in an interview she gave to the German edition of Vogue magazine have landed her in hot water with some people who share her heritage.

The actress was discussing her role as the head of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel in Oliver Stone’s film “Savages” when she told the magazine, as translated from German to English, “I am proud to have been involved in this film with all these great actors.”

Then she said, “Honestly, I hardly had any memories of what it is to be Mexican. My life is completely different now.”

The Huffington Post reports 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?”

Hayek is married to the French fashion executive and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault.

A rep for the actress told E! News Wednesday that “the whole thing has been lost in translation,” adding, “Salma is not disparaging Mexico in any way.”

The rep forwarded to E! notes from the story’s author Ingrid Sischy, the former editor of Interview magazine, showing Hayek’s actual answer is longer and has 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.”

The actress also released a statement to The Associated Press in response to the controversy.

“I have never denied my background or my culture,” she said. “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. I have tried my whole life to represent my Mexican roots with honor 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.”

Hayek’s rep declined to comment to ABCNews.com beyond the actress’ statement.

 

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