An indigenous actress and star of the award-winning film Roma has once again been thrust into the spotlight after racist comments were posted on Instagram in reaction to a publicity video for a new Huawei smartphone.
But when rival manufacturer Motorola’s name appeared in the comments, that company was quick to enter the debate.
In the promotional video for Huawei’s new P30 Pro actress Yalitza Aparicio says she has used her fame to rewrite the way Mexicans see themselves.
“I brought the color of Mexico to the world. I demonstrated that a Mexican can be wherever she wants to be, and that any day is a good day to rewrite the rules, rewrite the photography and rewrite Mexico.”
Several users reacted positively to the video but several others did not.
One stated that he intended to switch phone companies because of the actress’s appearance.
“No, if I have to keep seeing this ridiculous ugly chick, I’m going to have change over to Motorola.”
While some took advantage of the discriminatory comments to add their voices of prejudice others, including the rival cellphone maker, raised their voices in support of Aparicio.
“We love to receive new customers, but it would be better under other circumstances; Motorola applauds Yalitza’s success and that of all Mexicans who achieve their dreams!” Motorola México wrote.
Huawei had a more tepid response for another user who expressed his displeasure at seeing Aparicio in the video, and wrote that he intended to buy a different phone.
“We are sorry you will no longer get to try out the P30 Pro’s ‘Super Zoom.’ We hope you come back soon.”
This is not the first time that the Roma actress’s fame has drawn racist comments. In February, a video in which soap opera star Sergio Goyri expressed disbelief that a “damn Indian” who only says “yes ma’am, no ma’am” could be nominated for an Oscar for best actress, circulated widely on social media and in the news.
Natividad Gutiérrez Chong, a sociologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the young Mixtec actress’s talents have frequently been reduced in mainstream society because of a colonial mindset inherited from the Spanish, which diminishes the role of indigenous women to domesticity.