Actor John Leguizamo has criticized the casting of James Franco as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the upcoming film about the daughter of Cuba’s former president, “Alina of Cuba.”
“How is this still happening?” Leguizamo asked his more than 1 million Instagram followers about Franco being cast as the controversial Cuban leader.
“How is Hollywood excluding us as well as stealing our narratives? No more Hollywood appropriation and streamers!”he said, adding: “Boycott! That’s over! Besides seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement, what would be wrong! I don’t have [problema] with Franco, but he’s not Latino!”
Leguizamo is correct in his statement. Franco is primarily Caucasian, having Portuguese and Swedish ancestry on his father’s side and Russian-Jewish ancestry on his mother’s side, the CBR reported.
Franco has also been out of the spotlight for the past four years after making headlines over a series of allegations of his alleged sexually abusive behavior.
There have been several Hollywood movies over the past decade that have been boycotted because of their “appropriation” or “whitening” of cast, including “Phantom of the Future,” which cast Scarlett Johansson as a character who was originally Asian.
Franco will star in “Alina of Cuba” alongside Ana Villafañe, who plays the titular character Alina Fernandez, Castro’s daughter. The screenplay follows Alina’s life as Castro’s illegitimate daughter and a critique of her reign in Cuba before she left the country and defected to Spain in 1993.
The film is scheduled to begin production on August 15, with filming taking place in Colombia, according to Variety.
Despite the American’s cultural appropriation, Castro’s daughter Alina Fernandes (who works on the film) supported the controversial decision to cast Franco in the role of her father.
Leguizamo often champions Latino representation in Hollywood. In 2020, he told People: “We are less than 1% of the stories told by Hollywood, media and streaming networks when we are almost 20% of the population and 25% of the US box office. I just feel like it’s such a detriment to kids not to see themselves represented in a positive way.”