It was announced on August 4 that the 44-year-old Californian James Franco will play the Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the upcoming movie Alina of Cuba. However, ever since the news came out, several people criticized the decision, and one of the most vocal critics was John Leguizamo. An advocate for Latino representation in Hollywood, Leguizamo asked ‘how is this still going on’?
This is what the 58-year-old Colombian-born actor wrote:
“How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott!
This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement, which would be wrong!”
“I don’t got a [problem] with Franco but he ain’t Latino!”
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Franco’s father was of Portuguese and Swedish ancestry, and his mother is Jewish from a family of Russian Jewish descent – which means that he’s not a latino.
The upcoming film is based on a script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo cruz, and it centers around Alina Fernandez – the illegitimate daughter of Fidel Castro. It’s scheduled to start filming in Colombia on August 15, and it will follow the story of the anti-communist activist who was an outspoken critic of Castro and the Cuban government.
Fernandez herself will be a part of the film production as an on-set creative and biographical consultant, and she also supported Franco’s casting in the role.
However, although many people criticized the casting of Franco, people accused Leguizamo of hypocrisy – blaming him for taking roles as an Italian in the Romeo & Juliet movie, or Luigi from Super Mario Bros.
But what do you think about this issue? Feel free to discuss it in the comment section.