John Leguizamo Speaks Out Against James Franco’s Reported Casting as Fidel Castro: ‘He Ain’t Latino!’

Following reports that James Franco has been chosen to portray Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the upcoming movie Alina of Cuba, John Leguizamo has called for a boycott of the movie.

The Encanto star slammed rumours that the troubled actor got the part despite the fact that “he ain’t Latino” on Instagram on Friday. The 62-year-old actor and comedian questioned how Hollywood has allegedly advanced so much since he initially entered the industry and yet the Latinx community remains virtually unknown.

He questioned, “How is this still going on?” “How does Hollywood not only ignore us but also appropriate our stories? No more appropriation from streamers and Hollywood! Boycott! This is awful! Furthermore, it is quite difficult to convey a narrative without being self-important, which is bad! Franco is not Latino, but I don’t have a problem with him.”

Alina Fernandez, Castro’s illegitimate daughter who opposed her father’s rule in Cuba, is the subject of the book Alina of Cuba. In the early 1990s, she would ultimately run away to Spain. The role of Fernandez, who supported Franco’s choice to play Castro, will be played by Ana Villafane. Variety reports that Fernandez will serve as a creative and biographical consultant on set.

Leguizamo, who previously acknowledged going to considerable efforts to secure gigs in Hollywood, wasn’t the only one who objected to the information.

Danny Ramirez, who plays Maverick in Top Gun, tweeted a news piece with the caption “What the f**k.”

Just a few days prior, Leguizamo told the Los Angeles Times that even he is unable to break through Hollywood’s glass ceiling because “it’s made out of plexiglass and it’s indestructible, and you can’t get beyond it,” he criticized the Franco news.

Leguizamo has previously criticized films for their lack of representation. Leguizamo slammed the remake of his 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie over a year ago. He tweeted at the time, “I’m so happy a new Super Mario Bros. movie is coming! It is undoubtedly iconic enough. Sadly, they turned completely white. There are no Latinx leads! revolutionary colorblind casting in the original! In addition, I’m the only one who has the script for this movie!”

Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Kevin Michael Richardson, Fred Armisen, and Sebastian Maniscalco are among the voice actors in the animated movie. Charles Martinet, who provided the voice of Mario in the first game, will also make a brief appearance in the 2023 movie.


Franco is hardly the only Hollywood actor who has faced criticism for playing a Latinx character. When Desi Arnaz, a Cuban-born actor, was cast as the lead in Being the Ricardos, Javier Bardem received similar treatment. The Spanish-born Bardem responded to such critics in a profile for The Hollywood Reporter.

“I attempt to be people that I’m not for a livelihood because I’m an actor,” he said. “How should we handle Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Vito Corleone? What should we do with Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher? Lincoln is portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis? Why do people with accents bring up this topic of conversation? Your accent is unique. You should be there. That’s difficult.”

The second movie Franco has signed in as many months is Alina of Cuba. Franco will star in the coming-of-age period drama Me, You, it was revealed less than a month ago. This will mark Franco’s return to the spotlight after a four-year absence due to scandal.

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