Salma Hayek Opens Up About Sexism And Racism In Hollywood, Working With Harvey Weinstein

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Salma Hayek Hollywood: Hollywood actor Salma Hayek opened up about her experience in the film industry till date in a podcast released on February 8.

Speaking to Marc Maron on WTF with Marc Maron, Salma Hayek told that she could survive in Hollywood only because she was able to control her anger and frustration about the challenges she faced all throughout. 

While promoting her upcoming movie Bliss in the podcast, she talked about facing sexism and racism, getting typecast and undermined and her traumatic experience of working with the convicted producer Harvey Weinstein. 

On facing racism and sexism

The 54-year old actor recalled her initial days in the industry and revealed how she was discriminated due to her Mexican identity. In fact, she was told that her career would eventually ‘die’. 

The Oscar-nominated actor said, “They told me my career would die mid-thirties. First of all, they told me a Mexican is never going to make it, because at the time, the new generations, it was impossible for a Mexican to have a leading role in Hollywood.” 

However, Salma Hayek then told that she was proud of herself for not letting such racial bias bring her down.

Furthermore, she also talked about how female actors feel the pressure of their age and the ‘fear’ of their careers coming to an end. Nevertheless, she continued, “I want other women to realize that, because even in your 30s you feel the pressure, in your 40s you feel the pressure – and late blooming, it’s a beautiful thing. And we’re not ‘over’ at this time, or at another time. If you’re creative and enthusiastic and curious about life, life can be exciting forever, the entire time.”

Salma Hayek on Harvey Weinstein

In the podcast, Salma Hayek also opened about working with the disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who is currently serving a 23-year imprisonment due to numerous sexual offences.

The actor worked with the former producer and convicted sex offender in Frida, the 2003 biopic based on the life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Salma clarified that she didn’t have a relationship with the producer, but shared professional terms with him, which was abusive and traumatising in many ways. She shared that the producer repeatedly sexually harassed her, and even threatened her with violence.

She told, “I actually was very smart for the five years trying to get Frida done, how I handled it. Because I wouldn’t let him see any weakness. I was very, very strong, but afterwards when I would go home, sometimes I would be depressed for weeks.”

She further added that although she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie, it was done against his will because he was not getting what he wanted out of her for doing the movie, but was still bound to continue.

Salma continued, “He made my life miserable when we were shooting it, and I came out of it and I said, ‘I won. I beat him at his game. I’m not a victim. I healed. I’m a fighter, I’m strong.”

She further revealed that when the allegations of abuse against him began emerging in 2017, she started ‘spiralling down again’. 

“It’s not just the sexual abuse. It’s the mental abuse within work. He abused a lot of men too,” Salma Hayek added. salma hayek Hollywood 

Conviction of Harvey Weinstein

In October 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker reported that dozens of women had accused the former film producer of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least thirty years. More than 80 women from the film industry accused him of sexual offences. 

The co-founder of the entertainment company Miramax and film studio The Weinstein Company was arrested and charged with rape in New York in May 2018. He was eventually found guilty of two of five felonies in February 2020. Hence, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Harvey Weinstein is currently serving his sentence at Wende Correctional Facility, Erie County, New York. salma hayek Hollywood 

Feature Image Credits: AFP