Que?! The Academy Awards Confused Penelope Cruz for Salma Hayek

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Ay dios mio. The official Instagram account for the Academy Awards made an embarrassing mistake when they posted a picture of Robert De Niro and Penelope Cruz prepping backstage at the Oscars. The problem? They identified Cruz as “Hayek” – as in, Salma Hayek.

Besides the fact that both ladies are Latinas and have dark hair and eyes, the two actresses have very separate careers and, you know… faces. I mean, c’mon. Salma Hayek wasn’t even at the awards ceremony! And Penelope was a presenter! (Did someone leave an intern in charge?)

This isn’t the first time these identity mistakes have happened. Armani came under fire recently for identifying actress Alfre Woodard for actor Idris Elba. (Seriously?) Sherri Shepherd admitted that many people thought she was Octavia Spencer at the Academy Awards in 2012. And a KTLA anchor embarrassingly identified Samuel L. Jackson as Laurence Fishburne. (We don’t even know how that would happen, but OK.)

Besides the fact that this only exacerbates the idea of Hollywood tokenism (“hey, as long as we have some minorities in the mix, we’re totally inclusive – right?!”) it’s just insulting. Not all black people look the same. Not all Latinas do, either. Do better, world. 

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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