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  • Salma Hayek

    Salma Hayek | Photo: Reuters

Hayek was the first Mexican actress to earn an Oscar nomination for her lead role in the 2002 film "Frida" about artist Frida Kahlo's life.

The lack of diversity in U.S. cinema also affects Latin actors and directors, Mexican actress Salma Hayek said in an interview on Saturday. 

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“No one ever talks about that and it makes me furious,” she told EFE when she was asked about the usual absence of Latin actors at the Oscars ceremony.

“When I was nominated, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington had won the previous year,” added the 50-year-old actress, as the absence of Afro-American actors was at the center of controversies in Oscars previous editions, in 2015 and 2016.

"Everyone talked about Afro-Americans in the Oscars. And that year (I was nominated), there was Pedro Almodovar, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfonso Cuaron... I was the first Hispanic nominated in history in the Best Actress category — the first Latin actress was Brazilian Fernanda Montenegro — but here no one said anything.”

Hayek was the first Mexican actress to earn an Oscar nomination for playing the lead role in the 2002 film "Frida" — about artist Frida Kahlo's life. Only two other Latin actresses have been recognized by the Academy since then: Spanish-born Penelope Cruz and Colombian Catalina Sandino Moreno.

A recent study — published, on July 31, by the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism — found that out of the 900 successful Hollywood movies made in the past decade, only one had a Latina director.

Additionally, half of the 100 hits from the past year did not star one single Spanish-speaking character. 

 

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