Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu says he feels sorry for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump—because Trump’s strong stance on illegal immigration stems “from ignorance.”
The director—who took home Best Picture and Best Director honors at last year’s Oscars for Birdman and was nominated in both categories again on Thursday—told WNYC’s Kurt Anderson on Wednesday that Trump and other Republican presidential candidates are “planting seeds of hate” by blaming crime on increased immigration rates.
“Without understanding, and without the ability to listen deeply to the realities of other people and see them as you… When you generalize like that, you are taking out the humanity, the integrity of human lives,” Inarritu told Anderson. “That has been historically the way horrible things have happened to humanity.”
The director, who is of Mexican descent, saved his sharpest barb for frontrunner Donald Trump.
“To be so rich and so bitter… It’s a poor man whose only possession is money, and that’s the lesson we all have to learn,” he said.
Inarritu has made no secret of his contempt for Trump.
In November, the director joined dozens of Hispanic cultural leaders in signing a letter decrying Trump’s “hate speech,” speech that the group claimed was encouraging “physical aggressions against Hispanics.”
The same month, Inarritu used his speech as the guest of honor at LACMA’s Art + Film Gala to blast Donald Trump for what he called the candidate’s “constant and relentless xenophobic comments,” though he didn’t refer to him by name.
“But the words that have been expressed are not a joke. Words have real power; and similar words in the past have both created and triggered enormous suffering for millions of humans beings, especially throughout the last century,” he said at the time. “If we continue to allow these words to water seeds of hate, and spread inferior thoughts and unwholesome emotions around the world to every human being, not only will millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants be in danger, but immigrants around the world now suffering, will share the same dangerous fate.”
Inarritu’s latest film, The Revenant, was nominated for 12 Academy Awards on Thursday. The film took home Best Picture, Best Director for Inarritu, and Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio at last weekend’s Golden Globes. Check out an excerpt from the director’s interview with WNYC’s “Studio 360” radio program above.