Guillermo Del Toro uses Hollywood Walk of Fame speech to champion immigrants

Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro used his speech after unveiling his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to champion immigrants and warn of the 'lies' being told in public discourse.

Del Toro, who is Mexican and won Academy Awards for Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water, added that the US is 'in a moment of great fear'.

“I’m a Mexican and I am an immigrant,” he said. “Right now, we are in a moment of great fear.

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“Great fear and great division because that’s why fear is used. It’s used to divide us. It’s used to tell us that we’re all different, that we shouldn’t trust each other.

“These lies make us easier to control and make it easier to hate each other. But, the antidote to that is to come together, to realise that those divisions are complete fantasies.

“As a Mexican, receiving this star is a gesture and no gesture right now can be banal or simple. This is very important this is happening right now because I can tell to all of you, all immigrants from every nation, that you should believe in the possibilities and not the obstacles.

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro poses with the Mexican flag following a ceremony honoring him with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Guillermo del Toro (Credit: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

“Do not believe the lies they tell about us. Believe in the stories you have inside and believe that we all can make a difference and we all have stories to tell and we all can contribute to the art and the craft and the world in any way we see fit.”

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J.J. Abrams, who spoke ahead of Del Toro, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Ron Perlman were among those in attendance at the presentation.

The US is still reeling from its latest mass shootings, in which 32 people died in separate incidents in Ohio and Texas.

The suspected gunman in the Texas shooting, during which 22 people died and dozens more were injured, published a manifesto online prior to his attack.

In it, he said that 'this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas', echoing language used by Donald Trump.

Trump famously said that Mexico was sending criminals and 'rapists' to the US in remarks when he was a presidential candidate in 2015.

In 2018, he also said of undocumented Mexican immigrants: “We have people coming into the country or trying to come in, we're stopping a lot of them, but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are.

“These aren't people. These are animals.”