Salma Hayek hopes Donald Trump’s remarks about immigrants may lead to greater recognition of the prejudice that still exists.
Enlarge Brian Cahn/ZUMAPRESS.com
Candidate Trump blasted Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug criminals.
He’s the candidate that must remain nameless.
Salma Hayek wouldn’t even say the word “Trump” when asked how she felt after the GOP presidential hopeful assailed Mexican immigrants as “rapists” flowing across the border.
“Because I know him a little bit, it’s a mistake to respond because he will use this to promote himself,” Hayek told The News’ Ethan Sacks about the Republican front-runner. “The Mexican community may be upset that I wasn’t saying something … but I refuse to utter his name and allow him to use me for self-promotion.”
Expectations were high because Hayek is the highest-profile star of Mexican descent in Hollywood, and known as a foe of discrimination against immigrants.
But Hayek, whose new movie “The Prophet” is an animated adaptation of the Kahlil Gibran novel, refused to follow the script. Besides, she sees a silver lining in how Donald Trump’s comments underscore the prejudice immigrants face. “We have not, as Americans, grasped the level, the size, of the problem of discrimination in this country,” she says. “We have been living a lie, pretending we’re a country that no longer discriminates.”
Hayek seemed to reference Trump’s ownership of the Miss Universe pageant and his “Apprentice” role on NBC, noting, “America is not a beauty pageant. America is not a reality show. The reality of America and the world is tougher.”
Hayak conceded in a 2010 interview that she was once an illegal immigrant herself.
“It was for a small period of time, but I still did it,” she told V Magazine.
The gorgeous star, now a naturalized citizen, told the fashion mag, “I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out,” explaining that “it was inconceivable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role.”
When Trump announced his bid for the White House on June 16, the real estate mogul now famously said of Mexicans, “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 July he doubled down on the statement, saying in a press release, “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
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