ENTERTAINMENT

Mexican Actor Apologizes For Indian Slur Against 'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio

First indigenous woman to be nominated for Best Actress Oscar declares pride in her heritage in face of hateful comments.

“Roma” star Yalitza Aparicio, the first indigenous woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, declared she was proud of her heritage in response to a vicious slur by a fellow Mexican actor.

“I am proud to be an Oaxacan indigenous woman and it saddens me that there are people who do not know the correct meaning of words,” she said in a statement Saturday.

Video emerged Friday of Mexican actor Sergio Goyri complaining about the Oscar nomination of a “fucking Indian who says, ‘Yes, ma’am, no, ma’am.’”

The 26-year-old actress — whose father is Mixtec and mother Triqui — plays a live-in domestic worker for a wealthy family in Mexico City in the ’70s in “Roma.” The critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical film by director Alfonso Cuaron reveals her struggles as well as the crucial role she plays in the family, particularly for the children. 

Goyri quickly apologized for his comments.

“It was never my intent to offend anyone. I apologize to Yalitza, who deserves [the Oscar nomination] and much more,” he said in a video posted on Instagram and YouTube. “For me, it is an honor to see a Mexican be nominated for an Oscar.”

Aparicio said in an interview earlier this month with the Los Angeles Times that she takes extreme care with the “image” she presents.

“I know that everything that I am doing — if I do something wrong, they might think we are all that way. So I have to take good care of that image, our image,” she explained.

Aparicio also talked of the pressure and constraints she faced to reach for more in her life.

“People would tell me, ‘Why do you study?’” she told the Times. “One, you are a woman. Two, you don’t have the right color. Three, your economic station doesn’t help. You’ll end up getting married and becoming a servant.”

She said: “I could stay in this jar where they say I belong,” but she was determined to break out of it.

“Roma” has been nominated for 10 Oscars.

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