Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has denounced “xenophobic” political commentators, in a speech clearly aimed at Donald Trump, whose campaign to become a presidential candidate has been attacked for criticising Mexicans.
Iñárritu was speaking at the Art + Film gala of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a prestigious event designed to honour LA’s foremost practitioners of the two disciplines, on the same night that Trump made a much-publicised appearanceon NBC’s TV show Saturday Night Live.
Referring to “constant and relentless xenophobic comments that have been expressed recently against my Mexican fellows … comments [that] would be unacceptable if they were targeted against another minority”, Iñárritu did not mention Trump by name, but his focus on the candidate was plain. “These sentiments have been widely spread by the media without shame, embraced and cheered by leaders and communities around the US. The foundation of all this is so outrageous that it can easily be minimised as an SNL sketch, a mere entertainment, a joke.”
Iñárritu, who was born in Mexico City and who became the second Mexican, after Alfonso Cuarón, to win the Oscar for best director (for Birdman), went on to say: “If we continue to allow these words to water seeds of hate, and spread inferior thoughts and unwholesome emotions around the world to every human being, not only will millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants be in danger, but immigrants around the world now suffering will share the same dangerous fate.” Iñárritu published the full text of his speech in Spanish and English online.
Before he announced his nomination, Trump complained about Birdman’s Oscar-night triumph, describing it as “ridiculous” and “a great night for Mexico”.
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