Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has urged people to “come together” during a time of “great fear and great division”.
The acclaimed director, producer and screenwriter was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and used the ceremony to spread a message of unity.
It came days after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which police are investigating whether the alleged gunman was motivated by anti-immigrant hatred.
Del Toro said it was “important” a Mexican was being recognised.
Watched by a star-studded audience including actor Ron Perlman, director JJ Abrams and pop star Lana Del Rey, he said: “Right now, we are in a moment of great fear, great fear and great division. That’s why fear is used, it is used to divide us.
“It is used to tell us we are all different, that we shouldn’t trust each other. And 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 those divisions are complete fantasies. When people say you dwell in fantasy, I say, ‘I don’t, politicians do, churches do, I don’t’.
“I deal with facts of the soul and the stories.”
Del Toro, known for his work featuring themes of fantasy and the supernatural, won a best director Oscar for 2017’s The Shape Of Water, which was also named best picture.
His other films include Pan’s Labyrinth, Blade II and two Hellboy films.
The 54-year-old said he first visited Hollywood in the 1970s and was inspired by the number of immigrant filmmakers on the Walk of Fame.
“As a Mexican, receiving this star is a gesture and no gesture right now can be banal or simple. This is very important that it is happening right now”, he said.
Del Toro, who proudly told fans “I am weird”, added: “I can tell to all of you, all immigrants from every nation, that you should believe in the possibilities and not the obstacles. Ever.
“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.”
Del Toro’s star, placed in cement at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard, was number 2,669 on the Walk of Fame.