John Leguizamo Condemns James Franco Casting as Fidel Castro: Not Latino!

John Leguizamo Instagram has spoken out against a recent casting call James Franco as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the upcoming indie film Cuban Alina. Diversity confirmed Franco’s casting August 4 Cuban Alina was directed by Miguel Bardem, based on a screenplay by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz.

“How is this still going on?” Leguizamo asked his Instagram followers about Franco as a Cuban historical figure. “How does Hollywood single us out, but also steal our stories?” No more appropriations Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! It’s F’d up! Also, it’s a very difficult story to tell without zooming in, which would be wrong! I don’t have a [problem] with Franco, but he’s not Latino!

Alina of Cuba is scheduled to begin production on August 15, with the crew filming in Colombia. Franco will star opposite Ana Villafañe, who will play the titular character Alina Fernandez, Castro’s daughter. The script follows Alina’s life as the illegitimate daughter of Castro and a critic of his rule in Cuba before she left the country and moved to Spain in 1993. The roles of Fidel Castro were supported by the real Fernandez, who is involved in the film as a creative and biographical consultant.

Supporting actors Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez. Mía Maestro also appears in the film as Alina’s mother Natalia Revuelta, a Cuban woman who gave birth to her after an affair with Castro.

Leguizamo often advocates for Latino representation in Hollywood, recounting People magazine 2020: “We make up less than 1% of the stories told by Hollywood and streaming media and networks when we’re almost 20% of the population, 25% of the US box office. I just feel like it’s such a disservice to the kids to not see them reflected in a positive way.

Read Leguizamo’s full post on Franco’s casting below.

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