So many careers have been affected or altered because of racism.
Salma Hayek is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. After breaking into the mainstream in Desperado, she's enjoyed a long career, with movies like The Eternals coming out soon.
But Hayek has had to fight for every role she's gotten, especially in the early days of Hollywood. In a new Variety cover story, Hayek talks about what it's been like as a Mexican American actress in Hollywood.
She began, “I remember there were two big comedies I auditioned for the lead. Afterwards, the directors told me that I was the best audition and that I was better than who they cast and that they regretted it. But at the time, they knew the studios wouldn’t have gone for a Mexican as the lead.”
While we didn't get the titles of the comedies discussed, Hayek said, “I got a lot of satisfaction with them coming to me and telling me because I thought it was very courageous of them. And I thought it changed something. It changed something in them. It made [me think that] maybe the next generation or the next girl that comes in was going to get a better shot because of it.”
She's also faced sexism, she said.
“If you are a woman and you are in a movie that is very successful and they say you are their favorite character, they will still give all credits of the box office to the guy," she said. "They don’t count who you’re bringing into the theaters. In my case, I was already a very big star in my country. I was bringing the Latino market into the theaters. I know some of the studios knew that. But they didn’t want to accept the value of the Latino market at the time.”
Hayek's story tells a tale too familiar in Hollywood lore. Actors not only have to be amazing at their jobs, but they have to overcome so much sexism and racism in Hollywood that it's a wonder anyone can attain longevity in their careers.
Head over to Variety to read Hayek’s story in its entirety and let us know what you think in the comments.