Actor Jamie Lee Curtis is in hot water after comments she made about her Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas' Cuban origins.
In a new profile of de Armas in Elle, Curtis told the magazine upon first meeting her during Knives Out's production, she assumed she was "inexperienced" and "unsophisticated" because she comes from Cuba.
Curtis also told Elle she feels "real embarrassment" about the conclusions she leapt to about de Armas, but that did little to tamp down the backlash that has erupted, especially among Latin American people.
Curtis' comments do indeed reveal the all too common and deeply embarrassing assumptions often made about Latin American people.
Curtis told Elle:
“I assumed—and I say this with real embarrassment—because she had come from Cuba, that she had just arrived."
"I made an assumption that she was an inexperienced, unsophisticated young woman."
"That first day, I was like, ‘Oh, what are your dreams?'"
Though Knives Out was a star-making performance that immediately launched de Armas onto Hollywood's A-list, she was hardly a newcomer when filming began.
Prior to her Knives Out breakout, she'd already appeared in the Todd Phillips comedy War Dogs, horror filmmaker Eli Roth's Knock Knock and Blade Runner 2049, the high-profile 2017 sequel to the original 1982 Blade Runner.
She'd also had a long career in Spanish-language film and television, particularly in Spain, that dates all the way back to 2006.
Curtis also told Elle she was surprised to find how many Hollywood A-listers de Armas had already forged relationships with, including her Knock Knock costar Keanu Reeves, and Curtis' godchildren Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
To some degree, Curtis could be excused for assuming de Armas was a newcomer.
The star herself told Elle she feels like an outsider in Hollywood.
“I feel sometimes that I’m not part of the Cuban artist community, and then I was in Spain and I feel like I’m not part of the community there..."
"And then I’m here, and I feel like I’m not there yet either. You know?"
"Am I part of the community? I barely know anybody."
But as many pointed out on Twitter, Curtis' presumptions about her colleague are emblematic about the sorts of stereotypes frequently leveled at Latin American people, especially Latina women.
And the backlash against her has been intense.
Regardless of what Curtis may have assumed about de Armas, the latter's A-list status is fully secure.
Her next role will be none other than screen icon Marilyn Monroe in the Netflix film Blonde, a fictional portrait of the star based on Joyce Carole Oates' novel.