Eiza González issued a statement to Page Six regarding recently resurfaced images of her wearing blackface in an episode of the Mexican television series Lola, Érase Una Vez — which translates to Lola, Once Upon a Time in English.
The images first came to light earlier this week after snapshots of the actress kissing fellow actor Timothée Chalamet in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, went viral. Fans of the Little Women actor felt that he was showing poor judgment by dating someone who had previously done something as offensive as wearing blackface.
According to her statement, González took the job when she was 15 years old, marking her first role on a Mexican telenovela.
“I am deeply sorry and ashamed about having worn blackface makeup shown in the images circulating.”
In her apology, she alleged that she was “pressured” and had “no negotiating power.” She added that at the time, she “could not advocate for [herself] in the situation.”
She concluded by saying she wished she “had the voice and knowledge then that I have now.”
The Baby Driver actress also addressed an image of herself dressed as a geisha, which drew similar criticism. She said that the photograph occurred while she was on a trip to Japan, and she was told by her host that “it is considered an intercultural exchange to dress up in their traditional clothing and makeup.”
The 30-year-old noted that it was meant to show “appreciation” toward Japanese culture, but acknowledge that “out of context, this calls for a dialogue about contemporary cultural appropriation.”
Furthermore, González said that as a Mexican woman who had immigrated to the U.S., she understood what it was like to experience “racism and ignorance throughout [her] life and career.”
She concluded by stating she would “never intentionally participate in anything that I knew would cause harm or distress to another person.”
González reiterated that she was sorry for her actions and deeply regretted them. She promises to make it a priority to further “educate” herself so that she could stand up for herself and other people who might need her assistance in the future.
Some fans felt that González’s apology did not take direct ownership of her actions in regard to wearing blackface, but the majority seemed to accept that she was sorry and had learned from her past mistakes. That said, several people noted that the problem was more deeply-rooted, with many shows thinking blackface is acceptable.