Robert Rodriguez gave a touching speech about Latinos in Hollywood before the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists earlier this month.
The famed Sin City: A Dame To Kill For director attended the event on August 8 to accept the Corazón de Oro award.
Shedding tears, Rodriguez shared the story of his older sister who left to New York to pursue an acting career but came back with troubling news: As a Latina, she could not find work and ultimately changed her last name to fit in.
"I remember being really upset by that," he said. "Not upset with my sister, but upset about an industry where you would be denied work because of your name. And I was very determined from that day forward to change that. I'm not going to change my name."
"I was shocked to find there were just no Latinos working in Hollywood," he told the crowd. "I mean, there were just none. So, I realized I had to create my own star system. Because anything I was going to write was going to have a Hispanic in it, because you write in your own image."
The San Antonio-native decided he wanted to introduce more Latinos into the mainstream. He began with a few of the biggest names in Hollywood today: Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo. All four starred in his breakout directorial hit, Desperado.
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