Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro on Tuesday spoke up for immigrants and the power of immigrant storytelling at the dedication of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Right now, we are in a moment of great fear. Great fear and great division because that’s why fear is used,” the “Shape of Water” director, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, said Tuesday.
“It’s used to divide us. It’s used to tell us that we’re all different, that we shouldn’t trust each other. These lies make us easier to control and make it easier to hate each other. But, the antidote to that is to come together, to realize that those divisions are complete fantasies,” he added.
"You should believe in the possibilities and not the obstacles, ever. Do not believe the lies they tell about us."— ABC News (@ABC) August 7, 2019
Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro defends immigrants and kisses the Mexican flag during Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. https://t.co/0Q9tkBxnmc pic.twitter.com/Q49J8xnK88
The director, whose films often depict the triumph of outsiders or “freaks” over bigoted or authoritarian antagonists, has frequently spoken of his own experience as an immigrant and analogized his films to those experiences.
During the ceremony, the director posed with the Mexican flag and described his experience seeing the names of other Mexican filmmakers and actors on the Walk of Fame.
“Do not believe the lies they tell about us. Believe in the stories you have inside, and believe that we all can make a difference, and we all have stories to tell, and we all can contribute to the art, and the craft, and the world in any way we see fit,” he said.
The ceremony came in the wake of an ongoing debate over rhetoric about immigration, particularly after a gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, with police saying the suspect was tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that describes a Hispanic “invasion.”