Righting a wrong. Eiza González apologized for taking part in a blackface scene on a Telenovela when she was a teenager after photos resurfaced from the show on Tuesday, June 23.
“I am deeply sorry and ashamed about having worn blackface makeup shown in the images circulating,” González, 30, said in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, June 24, after seeing the photos reappear on social media. “As a 15-year-old child actor on my first job in a Mexican telenovela, I was pressured against my will — and with no negotiating power, I could not advocate for myself in the situation.”
She added: “I wish I had the voice and knowledge then that I have now.”
The Baby Driver actress came under fire after images from her in Lola, Érase Una Vez, or Lola: Once Upon a Time, from 2007, started to pop up on Twitter the same day she was spotted on a Mexican getaway with Timothée Chalamet.
“So timothée is apparently hanging out and kissing Eiza González in Cabo.. she has worn blackface and culturally appropriates without apologizing,” one Twitter user wrote, attaching photos of the actress in blackface and dressed as a geisha. “I’m sorry but that ain’t it. timothée what are you doing lauv?”
The Mexican actress also addressed geisha controversy — she dressed in full makeup and traditional clothing in the past — by explaining that the photo was from the time she went to Japan.
“The other image in question is from a trip I took to Japan. According to my host, it is considered an intercultural exchange to dress up in their traditional clothing and makeup,” the Godzilla vs. King star said in the statement. “It is seen as an appreciation of their culture, however, I understand that out of context, this calls for a dialogue about contemporary cultural appropriation.”
The Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw actress revealed that she never meant to offend anyone with her past actions and noted that she’s dealt with racism “throughout my life and career.”
“I would never intentionally participate in anything that I knew would cause harm or distress to another person,” González continued. “More than gestures of apology, it is my responsibility to educate myself and use my voice to stand up for others. And again I deeply apologize for hurting anyone.”
The True Love alum’s apology is the latest to come from Hollywood regarding blackface and cultural appropriation.
Jimmy Kimmel spoke out about his past impressions and impersonations of Black celebrities on Tuesday, specifically the time he appeared in blackface as NBA player Karl Malone for a sketch on KROQ radio in the ‘90s, saying, “I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke.”
Earlier in the month, Julianne Hough addressed her 2013 blackface costume controversy, noting, “I was in my own suffering, wasn’t able to see the macro suffering, and made it about myself in the situation.”