Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is flying high after scoring his second straight best director Academy Award nomination in two years, but that hasn’t stopped him from weighing in on controversial topics, like the GOP presidential candidates’ rhetoric on immigration.
During an interview on Wednesday with WNYC’s “Studio 360,” “The Revenant” filmmaker called out comments made by front-runner Donald Trump and others about undocumented immigrants. Iñárritu said the comments amounted to “plant[ing] seeds of hate.”
“To be so rich and to be so bitter — it’s a poor man whose only possession is money,” Iñárritu said with regard to Trump. ”When you generalize like that, you are taking out the humanity, the integrity of human lives. That has been historically the way horrible things have happened to humanity.”
Trump infamously declared that a sizable portion of undocumented immigrants are “killers” and “rapists” when he first announced his candidacy for the presidency last summer. Despite widespread criticism, the real estate mogul has refused to walk back his remarks and has advocated building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration. Trump says the wall would be financed by Mexico.
According to Iñárritu, Trump’s position is “coming from ignorance.” Last year, the Latino director was only person of color nominated in a major acting or directing category at the Academy Awards, the same is true this year. He did ultimately triumph in early 2015 for the comedy-drama “Birdman.” He dedicated his award in part to his “fellow Mexicans.”
“I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation,” he said from the podium.
His new film, “The Revenant,” has done stellar business at the box office and led all of this year’s Oscar nominees with 12 total.