Salma Hayek: Racism in America Is the 'Big Elephant in the Room'

by Meredith B. Kile 8:20 PM PDT, July 29, 2015
Playing Salma Hayek: Racism in America Is the 'Big Elephant in the Room'

Salma Hayek’s new animated film, The Prophet, based on the Kahlil Gibran book of essays, is a passion project that the actress has had in the works for several years. The film features a different director for each of the 26 essays about various aspects of the human condition, and was overseen by Oscar-nominated Lion King director Roger Allers.

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While promoting The Prophet, the Mexican-American actress took the time to speak on another subject she is passionate about: racism in America.

"We have a big problem," Hayek told ET. "I think that this is the big elephant in the room. Because there were many years where people were saying, 'oh, racism is over in America.' And 'America is very inclusive.' And I think in the last couple of years, more and more, we're realizing that that is a lie and that this is a very big problem that we need to deal with."

The actress is a relative newcomer to social media -- she just joined Twitter in March -- but that didn’t stop her from tweeting about the controversial topic back in June.

"I am heartbroken by the hate and racism this beautiful country, that stands for freedom, has still not been able to overcome," Hayek wrote.

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The actress tweeted more about race in the United States later that day, specifically referencing men and women of color who serve in America’s military.

"Anyone with hate in their heart, wanting to split America, remember sacrifices men & women of every race & color make daily in armed forces," Hayek said. "In times of war, they risk their lives for our dream of freedom."

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The actress never outright referenced GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, made just a few days before her string of tweets, but seemed to be calling attention to the issue with her last tweet.

"And let's not forgot [sic] that if we are not of Native American descent, then we all came to this country from somewhere else!" Hayek concluded.

The Prophet is in theaters Aug. 7.

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