There is a lot of drama surrounding Hilaria Baldwin lately — and despite her best efforts to squash the controversy — it’s only growing. For those late to the story, Hilaria has long given the impression that she is a Spaniard (born in Mallorca). As it turns out, she’s a white girl from Boston.
The controversy began with a Twitter user who posted, “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.”
You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person— elena ilana alana alina elana (not) (@lenibriscoe) December 21, 2020
That tweet was followed by other evidence supporting that she tried to pass as Spanish. In the first video below, you’ll see an accent – that same accent is nowhere to be found in some of the more recent posts on her Instagram page (indicating it’s fake), which ignited the original fury/curiosity.
In the second video, she seems to search for how to say the word cucumber in English. Given that she was born and raised in Boston, it is especially curious why she doesn’t know how to say cucumber.
Here she is pretending not to know how to say cucumber in English 😭 pic.twitter.com/g8xYNktsNY— elena ilana alana alina elana (not) (@lenibriscoe) December 21, 2020
Internet sleuths also unearthed an interview on the Mom Truths podcast where Hilaria said she “moved to [New York City] when she was 19 to go to NYU.” When that statement was followed up with “From…?” Hilaria said, “My family lives in Spain.” While I try to give folks the benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to find it here. She could have said, “I moved from Boston to New York City to attend NYU.” Instead, she cleverly dodged a lie and replaced it with an intentionally misleading statement.
Speaking of accents, Alec Baldwin is either in on the scheme, or the man was duped. In an old interview with Howard Stern, he imitates his wife, accent included.
If the evidence above is not enough, Hilaria has appeared on the 2018 cover of Hola Magazine with her family, and Hola! magazine describes her as “born in Spain” speaking Spanish as her native language.
When the story first broke, I thought surely someone in the family must be of Spanish descent. I also considered the possibility that she grew up in Spain even if she was not born there. Upon doing further research, neither of those possibilities are true. She was born Hilary Hayward Thomas. Her mother spent nearly her entire career practicing medicine in Massachusetts, where she’d served as “an associate physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.” She “retired from both positions in 2012,” and Hilaria met Alec Baldwin in 2011. Henceforth, she could not possibly have spent considerable amounts of time in Spain (her mother had to get back to work). An obituary for Hilaria’s paternal grandfather stated that his American roots pre-date the American Revolution. Her paternal grandmother is from Nebraska.
Now that we have established Hilaria is not a Spaniard, the accent is fake, and she deliberately misled people to believe otherwise (in my opinion) – what does this mean, and what does she do about it? Although she has released two videos explaining her upbringing, they still feel dishonest. She does not take responsibility, blames the media for misrepresenting her upbringing, and plays the victim.
Her husband – Alec Baldwin – has tried to help dig her out of this hole with a long rambling video that only serves to prove why he’s so good at impersonating Donald Trump — he is Donald Trump. The video makes no sense, erroneously places blame on the media, and offers a feeble defense. For a man who has wiggled his way out of every controversy on the planet simply by owning his sh*t, I’d think he would advise his wife to do the same. Sadly, he jumped on her sinking ship instead.
This story might be funny to some, but there’s a much larger issue at play that neither Alec nor Hilaria seem to understand, and it involves cultural appropriation. She has posed as an immigrant and reaped all the benefits of that while circumventing its hardship. I need not explain cultural appropriation to my readers — as far smarter people have already done that legwork (thank you, Amandla Stenberg). But if you’re going to get out of a scandal, start with honesty.
For a more detailed conversation about this controversy, listen to my podcast below.