Actress Yalitza Aparicio of Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma has gone from school teacher to Oscar nominee in record time, quickly becoming a recognizable face in the sea of faces that is Hollywood. Of course, such a quick rise to fame is bound to lead to some backlash in this day and age, and Aparicio, as a Mixtec woman, has not been spared.
Mexican actor Sergio Goyri is one such critic, and from Aparicio’s own country. He posted a video criticizing the Academy for recognizing an “Indian” and used other racial slurs.
In Mexico, the indigenous population is a minority that isn’t often visible to the mainstream. Aparicio appeared on the cover of Vogue Mexico, the first Mixtec woman to do so, leading to even more backlash from those angry that a minority was representing the country.
Aparicio has stated that she is slowly learning how to hold her ground against online attacks and racial slurs. In a response to Goyri, she stated “I am proud to be an Oaxacan indigenous woman and it saddens me that there are people who do not know the correct meaning of words.”
Though she must brave the flames that come with being a trailblazer, Aparicio is making major strides for indigenous representation in the media. She is in the running against some major stars, so see who will take home the award for Best Actress at the Academy Awards on February 24.