Salma Hayek on the racism she faced in Hollywood: 'The audience is just going to be reminded of their maids'

Salma Hayek
Photo credit Getty Images

Salma Hayek visited “The Drew Barrymore Show” on Tuesday, and despite the usually uber-sunny disposition of both stars, the conversation soon turned very serious.

Ostensibly there to promote her latest action-comedy, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” Hayek started to discuss some of the racist discrimination she has experienced while working in Hollywood.

As Remezcla reports, Hayek spoke candidly about negative perceptions due to her being Mexican.

“I have been told over and over and over: ‘You’ll never make it in this town. You will only play a prostitute, drug dealer, wife, or girlfriend, and housekeeper because there’s no other roles for you,'" the Oscar-nominated star said.

Director Robert Rodriguez clearly didn’t believe any of that nonsense when he gave Hayek a starring role in his classic 1995 western, “Desperado,” that Hayek credited with launching her US film career.

The most jaw-dropping story she told was of one producer who flatly stated to her, “Had you been born, you know, on the right side of the border, probably you would be the biggest star in the world. But no matter how beautiful anybody thinks you are, no matter how good of an actress you are, the minute you open your mouth, the audience is just going to be reminded of their maids.”

Hayek then made an observation that by now should be obvious to Hollywood execs.

“It’s really surprising that people that are in such high positions are so stupid,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘There’s 40 million Latinos in this country. They really care about the money. There’s an untapped huge potential market here, and they were not seeing it.’”

Well apparently all those clueless, racist execs should be fired (if they haven’t already), because it was announced last week that Hayek will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And before that, Hayek will continue to shatter stereotypes with her upcoming roles in Marvel’s Eternals, directed by Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), and in “House of Gucci,” directed by Oscar-nominee Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “Blade Runner”).

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