Oct. 23, 2012 -- Editor's Note: At a recent press junket for the film Skyfall, Tony Dandrades, correspondent for Univision's top-rated daily show Primer Impacto, sat down with Javier Bardem to discuss his role as the villain Silva in the highly anticipated Bond film (watch our own interview with Bardem here).
Somewhere along the five minutes – the time each outlet is allotted to sit down with the talent while cameras are rolling – 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. In this open letter to Bardem, he shares his side of the story.
AN OPEN LETTER TO JAVIER BARDEM
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.