John Leguizamo has ‘f’d up’ the news that James Franco has been cast to play Fidel Castro in an upcoming biopic.
earlier this week, meeting reported that Franco would appear as a Cuban leader in Miguel Bardem’s independent film Alina of Cuba.
The film is based on the real life of Alina Fernandez (Ana Villafañe), a Cuban exile who found out at the age of 10 that she was Castro’s daughter. Mía Maestro was cast as Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, a socialite with whom he had an affair.
News of Franco’s casting was met with outrage, with many criticizing the casting of a white actor for a Cuban role.
On Friday (August 5), Leguizamo shared his own frustrations on Instagram.
“What’s next?” the Romeo + Juliet star wrote. “How does Hollywood exclude us, but also steal our narratives? Stop appropriating Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up!
“Also, the story is really hard to tell without magnification, which would be wrong!”
Leguizamo added, “I have no problem with Franco, but he’s not Latino!”
Taking to Twitter, many social media users shared their frustration with the limited roles available to Latinx performers.
Jeff Toores also expressed his anger at the casting news, writing, “I’m auditioning for another generic Latin American drug dealer and James Franco plays Fidel Castro. Latinos get dirty here and everywhere. Damn it, haha.”
However, Alina of CubaProducer John Martinez O’Felan denied Leguizamo’s claims, calling them a “blind attack”.
“A guy like John Leguizamo has been looked to by Hispanics since the ’90s as one of the first Hispanic American actors, and I’ve always admired him as an outsider. But his comments are culturally illiterate and a blind attack without substance in the context of this project,” he said The Hollywood Reporter.
“The reality of the ignorance piece falls within his statement, which suggests his personal view of being ‘Latino,’ because a land mass or residential area does not determine a person’s blood history or genetics.”
The film will be one of Franco’s first major projects since he was accused of sexual misconduct by several women in 2018.
Five women, including four of his former students, came forward in January 2018 with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by the 43-year-old. At the time, Franco said the allegations were “inaccurate” but that he didn’t want to “shut down” people who “didn’t have a voice.”
Last year he settled a lawsuit filed by two of his former students. In an interview, he described being “completely oblivious to power dynamics” while admitting to having sex with his drama students.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/james-franco-john-leguizamo-fidel-castro-white-b2139801.html John Leguizamo Slams James Franco Cast as Fidel Castro in New Biopic: “He’s Not Hispanic!”