¡Ay, ay, ay! Hilaria Baldwin, recently revealed to be born Hillary Hayward-Thomas, believes she didn’t do anything wrong by implying she has Spanish heritage for the past decade. In a new interview with the New York Times, the wife of actor Alec Baldwin denies culturally appropriating a spicier whiteness. “There is not something I’m doing wrong, and I think there is a difference between hiding and creating a boundary,” she tries to explain, blaming the confusion on “people misrepresenting” her.
Baldwin says her claims to Spanish culture come from the “time” she spent in Spain as a kid, saying her family often traveled to cities like Madrid, Seville, and Valencia at least once a year. “I think it would be maddening to do such a tight time line of everything,” she said. “You know, sometimes there was school involved. Sometimes it was vacation. It was such a mix, mishmash, is that the right word? Like a mix of different things.” Baldwin was in the pages of Latina and Hola!, portraying herself as a Spanish immigrant, at a time when real immigrants are being cruelly detained and deported. (To the Times, Baldwin claims she didn’t know Hola!, which has affixed an extensive correction to its 2018 interview with her, was inaccurately reporting her as Spanish, even though she and her husband have said as much.)
Back in Boston, she says her parents, who now live in Mallorca, “brought Spain into our home” through food and visiting friends from the country. “Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up?” she defended herself. Sure, these are lovely childhood memories, but it’s a stretch to suggest these things allow Hilaria Baldwin to exaggerate an accent, claim Spain as her home, or purport herself as an expert, all of which she has done for over ten years. (Five of them Trump years, at that!) At least her fellow “third” culture kid, Timothée Chalamet — who spent summers in France, speaks French, and has that name — knows not to pretend he’s anything but a New Yorker above all.