Mexican actress Eiza Gonzalez, who starred in the movie Baby Driver and Justin Timberlake’s latest music video “Supplies,” has raised the ire of followers on social media for the perception that she denies her roots now that she has found success in Hollywood.
On Jan. 16, the 27-year-old actress recommended — in English — neuroscientist A. David Redish’s The Mind Within the Brain, prompting some to question why the Mexican star didn’t write her post in her native tongue. “I ask myself: Did you forget to write and speak Spanish?” one fan wrote. “Please, we follow you in Mexico and you always post in English. Did you forget Spanish?” another added. “She forgot Spanish already. I really dislike Mexicans who feel they are gringos,” a third responded.
Some even threatened to stop following her because, they said, they don’t understand English. The former From Dusk Till Dawn star, who’s been been vocal about her opposition to the Trump administration’s policy on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is not one to pull punches. She responded to her critics swiftly: “There is a button at the bottom on Instagram that says ‘translate’ and if I write everything in English it translates it to whichever language the person speaks, including Spanish. If I write in two languages, [the platform’s translator] doesn’t recognize it.”
Gonzalez eschewed the notion that she’s less Latina for writing in English: “I don’t understand this thing that because I write in a global language I feel less Mexican. It’s just looking for excuses to criticize, that’s my opinion,” she wrote.
Some fans, however, didn’t buy her explanation: “But your followers are Spanish speakers, besides you are not a consecrated Hollywood star like Salma Hayek. You are more known for soap operas than for films,” one follower replied. Others defended the actress: “God, just let her write in whatever language she wants. People always want to criticize her! There is not one photo of Eiza where someone doesn’t complain about this topic, saying she denies her roots and is not proud of her country just because she writes in English, a universal language that a great majority of people use to communicate every day,” a devoted fan retorted.
Gonzalez hit pause on further engagement to turn her attention to a more pressing matter. On Jan. 21, she shared a photo of herself at the Women’s March in Los Angeles, wearing a t-shirt bearing the slogan: “Never underestimate the power of a girl who knows what she wants.”
In an inspiring message to fellow marchers that could just as easily been directed at critics who rail against her use of English and challenge her Mexican pride, she wrote: “[L] let’s always keep kindness in mind, let’s keep our hearts and minds open to listen, to SEE, to FEEL others. Let’s share our stories to allow a safe environment of consciousness to occur. But let’s remember hate only creates more hate. Resist, NOT repress. We shall lead as example of what we ask.”