Back in December, Hilaria Baldwin — a former yoga instructor and the wife of Alec Baldwin — was accused of pretending to be Spanish after her Spanish accent drifted into an American accent in a conversation with Amy Schumer. In response to the accusations, Baldwin explained that she was born in Boston but spent much of her life in Spain, where her parents still live and that she is raising her children to be bilingual. “In this country I would use the name Hillary. In Spain, I would use the name Hilaria. I identify more as Hilaria because that’s what my family calls me,” she said in December.
The controversy didn’t go away. An old Letterman interview where Alec Baldwin said that his wife was from Spain resurfaced, and a few weeks later, Alec Baldwin left Twitter. Again. He has since returned, and in recent days, Hilaria Baldwin has begun casually posting to Instagram again.
One person who never understood what the big deal was is Salma Hayek, currently starring alongside Owen Wilson in the Amazon Prime film, Bliss. Hayek, who is a longtime friend of Alec Baldwin and knows Hilaria, appeared on WTF with Marc Maron this week, and though she prefaced it by saying, “I’m going to get in trouble” for saying this, Hayek strongly came to Baldwin’s defense.
“Why are they going after this woman?” Hayek exclaimed. “Why are they going after this wonderful girl, great mother, wonderful wife? I mean, Alec has never been better. She makes him happy. Why are they going after this woman?”
“She’s been going to Spain since she was six months old,” Hayek added. “I knew she was born in Boston. She told me she was born in Boston. So, it is her story. What happens if she identifies with [being both Spanish and American]? Who is she hurting?”
Maron agreed with Hayek, saying that he thought it was weird that people tried to make it sound like “a scam.”
“What kind of scam?” Maron asked. “She obviously identifies strongly and feels better identifying with the part of her that respects her Spanish background,” Maron continued, although it should be noted that though her family has spent extensive amounts of time in Spain and is fluent in Spanish, neither she nor anyone in her family is of Spanish descent.
All the same, Hayek continued to defend her. “Her parents still live there, and the kids are speaking Spanish. They’re bilingual,” Hayek argued. “Who is she hurting? She’s not selling tapas in the corner. She’s not an actress pretending to be Spanish to take roles meant for Spanish people. She is hurting no one. Why are they so mean to this person?!”
Hayek also defended Hilaria from accusations of cultural appropriation. “How is she appropriating? Why are you not flattered? She identifies with our culture! Why not? Why do we go after these people?”
“After all the lies from the last few years of our lives. The big lies,” Hayek added, citing the missing weapons of mass destruction and the war in Iraq. “But let’s go after Hilarie? Why? She’s a nice girl.”
Ultimately, Hayek said she thought it would all go away fast because “it was so ridiculous,” but suggested that women are often targeted “very strongly for very silly things.” This, to Hayek, was just such an example.
Source: WTF with Marc Maron