Despite a solid opening weekend for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” actor Leonardo DiCaprio has had some rough skirmishes on the internet. After a cadre of Twitter trolls criticized him for having not worked with a female director since 1995, the actor is now getting attention for confusing Salvadorian pupusas with Mexican food.
Leo’s gaffe occurred during an interview with Univision, in which both he and Brad Pitt were asked about their favorite Mexican food. While Brad Pitt played it safe by saying tacos, DiCaprio surprised his interviewer by saying pupusas.
“I’m a pupusa man, myself. Better than tacos to me, I gotta go with them,” Leo said, according to Remezcla.
A Salvadorian dish, pupusas typically consist of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with beans or cheese, and are often cooked on a griddle.
Honest mistake. It’s not as if the guy said, “I don’t speak Mexican.” Since the comment went viral, Twitter has been abuzz with fun jokes, with perhaps the most critical coming from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“And y’all think *I’m* controversial,” said AOC.
Others were more gracious and even thanked Leo for giving El Salvadorian culture a nod — at least inadvertently.
“Leo DiCaprio, I felt some sort of pride in my heritage moments ago when I heard you say you prefer pupusa, the food of my mothers land, over a very popular Mexican taco,” said one user. “I’ve always been a fan of you work and movies and today I’m an even bigger fan of yours.”
“What else are you waiting for to declare the ‘Leonardo DiCaprio avenue’ in El Salvador?” said another user.
“Thanks Mr. Di Caprio for preferring PUPUSAS rather than ‘tacos.'” said another. “We flatten Salvadoreans with their preference. Visit us and learn more about this succulent culinary delicacy. Welcome to PUPUSAS COUNTRY!!”
Fortunately, the response to Leo’s love for pupusas has largely been affectionate and proves that sometimes people can make an honest cultural gaffe and not have to issue some groveling apology for it. The “pupusas” moment comes on the heels of film critic Guy Lodge of The Guardian and Variety blasting DiCaprio earlier this week on Twitter for not working with a single female director since 1995’s “Total Eclipse.”
“This is all well and good, and some fine work has come out of it, but I wouldn’t call his choices adventurous either: huge studio prestige productions with established male directors,” Lodge wrote on Twitter, according to Indiewire. “He hasn’t acted in a film with a female director since 1995, which I don’t think is an insignificant fact … I like that he’s choosy, and resistant to franchise fodder: he’s played his career well. But at this level of stardom, he has the clout to get riskier ideas (and talents) off the ground.”
“He is the safest actor in Hollywood,” said ScreenRant and Pajiba writer Kayleigh Donaldson. “Not that many major American names on his level truly take risky or dangerous roles, but I wouldn’t say he risks much working consistently with Scorsese, QT, Inarritu, etc.”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” enjoyed a solid opening weekend of $40 million, making it both a critical and financial hit, thus solidifying Leo DiCaprio’s status as one of the final few movie stars in existence.