Mods: There aren't any news websites that focused on his privileged comment, so I'm just pasting the original text, indicating when he said those words and writing a short transcript for those who can't open the player.
He made his movie name with “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Now, he’s writing about vampires. He joins us.
Director Guillermo del Toro was the fantasy-obsessed kid from Guadalajara, Mexico whose other-worldly visions ended up conquering Hollywood and the movie world.
His “Pan’s Labyrinth” won three Academy Awards, and took viewers into fascist Spain and a wild underground fable.
His “Hellboy” ruled the box office with comic book heroism. He’s had “The Hobbit” on his dance card. And “Frankenstein.” And “Slaughterhouse Five.”
And in his new book, he has vampires. Not the kissy, bare-chest, swooning type. Hard vampires.
We speak with Guillermo del Toro, on life and fantasy.
Short transcript (9:26-11:16):
Tom Ashbrook: Where does that come from in you [referring to his "fertile imagination"]; in your personal history in the culture, maybe the Mexican culture that you grew up in? Where does that come from?
Guillermo del Toro: See... I am... was born, uh, I was a very thin, very blond almost like red blond kid. I used to button my shirt all the way up the neck and I, uh.
Tom: In Guadalajara
Guillermo: In Guadalajara
Tom: In a strict catholic family
Guillermo: In a strict catholic family and I was essentially, actually, it's almost what you normally describe as racism or segregation in reverse because, I, uh, a kid that blond in Mexico is, like, immediately targeted
Tom: A gringo, uh, or at least a (sic) upcast (?), outcast.
Guillermo: A pummeling object.
Tom: [Chuckles] Yeah, let's hit him
Guillermo: And then I became very, very, very isolated and I essentially had to invent my own games, my own,uh, my own universe. Eventually, tired of the pummelings (sic), I became a fat kid and I started fighting back. [Chuckles] I adapted, I kind of fluffed, into being what I am right now; a size 50.
Tom: Who cares? We'll, we'll take what grew in you mind and, was growing. Again, it was very early on, you went to the world of fantasy?
Guillermo: Very much, people talk about Pan's Labyrinth, and they say the girl is escaping the world, and I say "No, she's not escaping it, she's deciphering it, she's understanding it through that fantasy" and there's a big difference for me because to escape it, uh, becomes, uh, truly a way to not be in the world, and I through the fantasy I learned to cope and being in the world, I (sic) never been absent, I kept observing the world, I kept processing the world, I didn't want to get away from it.
I was in shock when I first heard his comments about "segregation or racism in reverse", I could not believe someone could be that ignorant. I used to respect him.
Mexico has a white population of 17% (3rd largest in Latin America) right now, but in the past it used to be a lot larger; this is due to the efflux that occurred in the 1980s. What I'm trying to say is that Guillermo wasn't and isn't the only white person in Mexico, if anything, when he was growing up there were probably MORE white people. He is not a special flower.
These citizens usually enjoy a position of power, either political (Vicente Fox) or economical (Carlos Slim, Vicente Fox, he used to be the president of Coca Cola in Mexico). The beauty standard in Mexico has always been white people, as shown by ad campaigns and Telenovelas, furthermore people do not "bully" their white counterparts since they are always held in such high esteem, go to any pharmacy and you're sure to find bleaching products.
Maybe what Guillermo experienced is discrimination, and while it is cruel to pick on a child, you have to understand the frustration that non-white Mexicans feel, there is clear institutionalized racism and no one has ever admitted it, because "We are all Mexicans". White people are preferred when it comes to job positions and again, are more respected and more sought out especially if that person is a doctor or a lawyer. Mexicans trust white people more.
I am no saying that Guillermo deserved what he got, far from it, but there is a large amount of bottled up anger amongst non-white Mexicans, and those kids probably chose someone weak and small to vent out their anger on, which is not correct, but again, what do you expect from children?
Edit: I also found Tom Ashbrook's reply to be really ignorant, he has no place to comment. This is a Mexican issue, and instead of avoiding it, he just led Guillermo on.
FAIL ONTD_POLITICAL, FAIL @ UR WHITESPLANING
WHATEVER, I'M GETTING CHEESE FRIES.