Alfred Molina brought up a worthy point about gender and racial inequality when speaking about his Frida co-star Salam Hayek.
“I’ve said that if Salma had been white and male, she would have been bigger than Harvey Weinstein. I still believe that,” Molina told Elle. “Salma is a great businesswoman; she’s creative in a way that takes people by surprise.”
In case you’re wondering, Weinstein is an American film producer and studio executive who has an Oscar and several Tony awards under his belt. Oh, and he’s worth about $150 million!
Hayek, a media mogul herself, stars in huge films and runs the production company Ventanarosa. She also has other business ventures on the go including Cooler Cleanse, a juice company, and Nuance, a beauty line. Her net worth is $85 million. Like Weinstein, Hayek likes to control projects she works on.
“I ended up producing because I did not like myself complaining, complaining, complaining about the system,” she told Elle about Frida. “I said to myself, ‘You know what? I’m not going to whine about anything that I didn’t make any effort to change.'”
The movie went on to make $56 million and received a handful of Oscar nominations.
“I knew she was misunderstood. I wanted to set the record straight—and inspire other women with the one thing I knew about her, which was her courage to be unique,” Molina told the magazine.
Despite these great successes in her career, she’s still trailing behind Weinstein in terms of acknowledgment and net worth, but is that really surprising considering how racist and sexist the media industry is?
“We have a big problem,” Hayek told Entertainment Tonight about racism in the U.S. “I think that this is the big elephant in the room. Because there were many years where people were saying, ‘oh, racism is over in America.’ And ‘America is very inclusive.’ And I think in the last couple of years, more and more, we’re realizing that that is a lie and that this is a very big problem that we need to deal with.”
On top of that, Hayek has had to deal with sexism during her career.
“The biggest gap between man and woman in pay is with Latin women. They only get 50 per cent than men doing the same job,” she told Huffington Post, adding that in Hollywood “they want a girl to come in and look pretty and do as they say.”
Earlier this month at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon Hayek spoke about her years of crusading in the industry.
“In the 20 years I have been an activist for women, I can smell the airs of change, especially in this industry for the first time,” she said. “These romantic comedies are not working anymore. Why? We changed! I think that this is the true part of equality.”
Image credit: Twitter, Frida