Maybe it was a slip of the tongue. Maybe it’s the fact that Antonio Banderas has called himself a Latino. Regardless, when Salma Hayek told E! on the Oscars red carpet that Banderas was “the first Latino to make Latinos sexy in Hollywood,” she was incorrect. And many Latinxs groaned and rolled their eyes as they heard her comment. Not only is he not among the first, but he’s also not even Latino.
I can’t believe we have to do this again, but here’s your pre-Oscars PSA: Spaniards ≠ Latinos. Those from Spain are considered Hispanic because they speak Spanish, but they are not Latinos. It’s why Brazilians, who speak Portuguese, are not Hispanic. But they and people from Latin America are Latinos. Spain, which is located in Europe, therefore does not fit that definition.
The conversation about why Spaniards cannot consider themselves Latinos has existed for a long time, but it’s most recently resurfaced as the media tries to label Rosalía, a Spanish artist, as Latinx. We’re sure this won’t be the last time we hear a Spaniard mischaracterized as Latinx, but we’re hoping that one day everyone will get it right.