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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Meredith Clark

Hilaria Baldwin addresses ‘cruel’ critics after Amy Schumer mocked her ‘pretend’ Spanish heritage

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Hilaria Baldwin has subtly called out critics after Amy Schumer took aim at her heritage in the comedian’s new Netflix comedy special, Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact.

In a new interview with Romper, the 39-year-old wife of actor Alec Baldwin opened up about receiving negative comments from online trolls. Her remarks come just one week after Schumer poked fun at Hilaria for her alleged fluctuating accent and large family of seven children.

“It is a ridiculous thing to be cruel to another person,” Hilaria told Romper. She explained how some critics have taken things too far, such as allegedly filing a false report with the New York City Department of Health, pretending to be Hilaria and claiming she had leopards in her home.

Speaking to the outlet, Hilaria revealed that she hired a private investigator to disclose the real identities of some of her critics on Reddit. While the former yoga instructor doesn’t plan on exposing her findings, she said it makes her feel better to know that her haters are “lonely, lost people”.

In the new Netflix comedy special Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact, which debuted on 13 June, the Trainwreck star can be seen asking the audience if they know who Hilaria, the wife of Alec Baldwin, is, before pronouncing her name in a Spanish accent.

Schumer explained how she first met the yoga instructor “years ago” while backstage at Saturday Night Live. She claimed that when Hilaria introduced herself, she did so with a “very thick Spanish accent”. Schumer then mimicked the accent, saying: “I’m Hilaria, from España.”

The Life & Beth star also made fun of Alec and Hilaria Baldwin for having so many children, before making jokes about the children’s names. “They have a von Trapp amount of children, and they named them all, I’m not sure, but very Spanish names like Jamón, Croqueta, and Flamenco,” Schumer said. “And all of this would be fine and beautiful, except that ‘Hilaria from España’ is actually Hillary from Boston.”

Back in 2020, Hilaria Baldwin sparked backlash for allegedly pretending to be from Spain. Many internet users shared videos of Hilaria seemingly forgetting the English word for cucumber, while others pointed out that she claimed in several interviews that she was born in Spain. “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person,” one person tweeted.

During her Netflix comedy special, Schumer referenced speculation surrounding Hilaria’s background, as she said: “This woman is in no way Spanish. Her parents are not from Spain. No one in her life is from Spain.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to go to Spain. Some of you have been. It’s great, right? Don’t you love it? I loved it, too,” Schumer said. “But Hillary from Boston, f***ing LOOOVED it.”

Hilaria later confirmed in a New York Times article that her given name is Hillary Hayward-Thomas and that she was born in Boston, but travelled “back and forth” between her home in Massachusetts and Spain, where she said many of her family members lived and still reside.

“I grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain. My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the USA,” she said in an Instagram video at the time. “We celebrate both cultures in our home. Alec and I are raising our children bilingual, just as I was raised. This is very important to me. I understand that my story is a little different, but it is mine, and I’m very proud of it.”

In February 2021, she once again addressed the controversy around her heritage and apologised for not being “more clear” about her background.

“I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow. My parents raised my brother and me with two cultures, American and Spanish, and I feel a true sense of belonging to both,” she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post, which featured a photo of her and her family.

“The way I’ve spoken about myself and my deep connection to two cultures could have been better explained – I should have been more clear and I’m sorry,” she said. She added that she’s “proud of the way [she] was raised,” and that she and her husband are “raising [their] children to share the same love and respect for both”.

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, who’ve been married since 2012, have seven children: Carmen, nine, Rafael, seven, Leonardo, six, Romeo, four, Eduardo, two, Lucia, two, and Ilaria, seven months. The Hollywood actor also shares daughter Ireland Baldwin, 27, with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

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