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News > Mexico

'Roma' Indigenous Actress Target of Racial Slur

  • Mexican actor Yalitza Aparicio, who is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for

    Mexican actor Yalitza Aparicio, who is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for "Roma," poses for a portrait in West Hollywood, California, U.S., Feb. 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 February 2019

Yalitza Aparicio from Oaxaca, Mexico, is the first indigenous woman to be Oscar-nominated for best actress for her role in the film, Roma.

A Mexican soap opera star apologized Friday for using a racial slur to describe actress Yalitza Aparicio, whose performance in the critically acclaimed film "Roma" has made her the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for a best actress Oscar.

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Video footage surfaced on Twitter Friday in which actor Sergio Goyri, 60, can be heard criticizing the film community for nominating "a fucking Indian who says, 'Yes, ma'am, no, ma'am.'"

Aparicio, a 25-year-old from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, played a domestic worker in director Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," which received 10 Oscar nominations, including  best actress for Aparicio.

Netflix, which produced the film, received criticism, "for intending this work to be consumed mostly on digital platforms, and permitting only a relatively small cinema release in exclusive partnership with one chain. It has effectively been accused of suppressing the big-screen identity of its own product," Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian.

Later Friday, Goyri posted a video on social media site Instagram apologizing for his remarks.

"The only thing I want to say is that it was never my intent to offend anyone. I apologize to Yalitza, who deserves (this Oscar nomination) and much more," he said. "For me, it is an honor to see a Mexican be nominated for an Oscar."

After her Oscar nomination, Aparicio said she was optimistic that her success would help break stereotypes around race and class.

"You are used to seeing people on the screen who don't look like you," she said in an interview last month.

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