Actor John Leguizamo raged on Instagram in response to actor James Franco being cast to play Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro in the upcoming film Alina of Cuba.
Leguizamo, who has been outspoken about Hispanic representation in Hollywood, said that while he has no problem with James Franco personally he ultimately believed that a Latino should play Castro. Franco is of Portuguese and Russian-Jewish ancestry.
“How is this still going on?” the John Wick actor asked his followers. “How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?”
Leguizamo called for a boycott.
“No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up!” he continued. “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!”
The View co-host Ana Navaro said in response to Leguizamo’s post: “I’d like to think no Latino actor worth their salt would sign up to play and aggrandize a murderous dictator who terrorized the people of Cuba for six decades. For both reasons you articulated, I join you in the boycott.”
As Breitbart News reported, the movie will be based on the book authored by Castro’s Cuban dissident daughter, Alina Fernández, and will be directed by Miguel Bardem – cousin of Javier Bardem. Leguizamo made no mention of the fact that Latinos are essentially steering the project and that Alina Fernández supported Franco’s casting.
Speaking to Deadline, creative producer John Martinez O’Felan said that Fernández’s input was necessary when selecting the actor to play Fidel Castro.
“Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro, was a fun and challenging process and has been the collaborative work of the universe, because our director’s original order was to find an actor who holds a close physical resemblance to the real Castro to build from, along with finding someone Alina Fernandez would strongly endorse,” O’Felan told Deadline.