Just when you thought the saga of Hilaria Baldwin’s cultural heritage might be coming to a close, other members of her famous family are speaking up in defence of the author.
For the past two weeks, the internet has been dissecting the details of Hilaria’s past to see when and where she may have picked up her noticeable Spanish accent. The digital discourse initially began when one internet sleuth shared a thread of discrepancies in Hilaria’s history, highlighting instances where the lifestyle influencer wasn’t exactly the most forthcoming or consistent about her background (not correcting outlets that identified her as a Spaniard and changing her birth name, among other things). In conversation with The New York Times, Hilaria attempted to clarify her roots after she went viral, but the interview didn’t really clear anything up. In fact, it might have made things worse.
Enter her in-laws Billy Baldwin (Alec Baldwin’s younger brother) and Chynna Phillips. The couple spoke to Page Six about the cultural appropriation scandal and dismissed the public’s queries about Hilaria’s personal life.
“This is probably an awkward and embarrassing time for Alec and Hilaria,” Billy told Page Six. “I’ve been texting Alec the whole time to make sure he’s OK and if he needs anything.”
“I feel terrible. Who’s going to throw the first stone at my sweet sister-in-law?” Chynna added. “She’s a good woman, and you know none of us are perfect. We all have issues.”
Billy and Chynna’s defense of Hilaria comes shortly after her husband recorded a lengthy Instagram response to the internet drama, and her step-daughter Ireland also supported her online.
“It’s so pathetic that anyone would want to play detective and dig that deep into someone’s life that they don’t know anything about,” Ireland said on her Instagram story. “Hilaria is a wonderful mother who takes great care of her kids, and she takes great care of my dad. That’s really all that matters to me.”
A day later, Ireland backtracked on the emotional statement by sharing an apology on social media, writing that she understood that the discussion of cultural appropriation was an important one to have — even if it implicated her family members. (But her defence of her stepmother still stands.)
"I really appreciate the instagram friends in my DMs who have been very open and honestly having discussions about cultural appropriation, the right terms to address their communities, and sharing the way that I can do better," read her statement. "I'm going to fuck up. I'm a flawed human being who is still deep in this learning journey."