In a world where Latinx actors are underrepresented in the film industry, Salma Hayek was looking to make a change to that culture, when she got hit with a rude- and racist- awakening. The conflict was so severe that the multi-talented star threatened to pursue legal action.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the 50-year-old dished on a role that a Ghostbusters director denied her from portraying. She revealed, “I was screen-testing for the lead in a film, and they said that it was not written for a Latina, but they wouldn’t mind changing it. I learned the script, but when they sent me the pages [for the audition] there were none of the things I had learned, it was another role. So my agent called them, and they said, ‘Are you crazy? She’s Mexican. We can change [the race of] the bimbo, but not the lead.’” Excuse me?!
But at that point, the Mexicana wasn't ready to back down. Instead, she had her agent call again to ask for just 5 minutes of their time so she could at least audition for the role she spent her time learning, to which they replied, “Absolutely under no circumstances.” The mother-of-one responded ‘OK, you tell them that they either see me, or I’m going to sue them.’ And they said, ‘There’s no point in her coming, even if she had been the best audition she would have never gotten the part… But now we hate her. Does she want to come knowing that we detest her?'" How rude!
Despite the Frida actress not getting the role, she’s proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with in the film world and has even made the director regret his decision. Years after the incident, Hayek had the “pleasure” of crossing paths with him to hash out what went down. In the end, “He said, ‘I was wrong,’” even adding that after a “lovely conversation, he was so elegant.”
Hayek, who had up until that point never revealed the director’s name, finally mentioned that it was Ivan Reitman. The beloved actress had high hopes for the director, stating, “Well, I thought that the director that could see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as twins [1988’s Twins], and Arnold Schwarzenegger giving birth to a child [1994’s Junior] maybe could see a Mexican as a fashion editor.’ I thought I owed it to the new generation of Mexicans. That if I got this right, maybe something will shift.” We applaud this empowered Latina for taking a stand and bringing this important issue to the light.