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“But he ain’t Latino!”: John Wick Star John Leguizamo Blasts James Franco For Playing Fidel Castro, Asks Why’s Hollywood Still Excluding Latinos?

The netizens are not the only people appalled at a particular casting choice for the upcoming film Alina of Cuba, where James Franco is set to assume the role of Cuban revolutionary and politician Fidel Castro. The story of Castro’s daughter, Alina Fernandez, played by actress Ana Villafañe, will be followed in the movie, as per the script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz.

John Leguizamo
John Leguizamo calls out Hollywood

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Taking to Instagram, John Wick actor John Leguizamo who played the role of Aurelio, resonated with the opinions of many people on the internet and expressed his criticism towards Hollywood for their exclusion of much-required representation and the lack of respect towards Latino actors.

John Leguizamo Questions James Franco Being Cast As Fidel Castro

James Franco set to play Fidel Castro
James Franco set to play Fidel Castro

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The news from Deadline about the Golden Globe winner James Franco playing the role of Fidel Castro left the internet at a loss for words. The actor has been, from time to time, the center of attention over the years, but in the past few days, his presence has garnered quite the response following the casting reveal for director Miguel Bardem’s upcoming project Alina of Cuba. Among the people who voiced criticism over this, actor John Leguizamo has been one of the first celebrities to point out Hollywood’s cultural appropriation of and casual ignorance towards Latino people.

John Leguizamo
John Leguizamo

The actor who is of Colombian descent has been a strong proponent of wanting the industry to represent the stories of Latino people on the big screen. In his post, Leguizamo, best known for his role in the Super Mario Bros. film as Luigi, had the following to ask his audience on Instagram:

“How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott!”

To elaborate on his stance, Leguizamo also mentioned how the story of Fidel Castro would be a narrative that is difficult to explain without “aggrandizement”, which would also be quite “wrong.” 

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Twitter’s Opinions On The Matter

Twitter blasts James Franco
Twitter blasts James Franco

While Leguizamo reinstated how James Franco is not Latino and him being cast as Fidel Castro is ridiculous, he also emphasized how he “don’t got a prob with Franco.” However, people on Twitter have expressed their unbiased opinions about the actor and his role in Alina of Cuba. 

This is what they had to say:

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While the collective verdict remains against Franco, it is to be seen whether there is any change in the casting or whether filmmaker Miguel Bardem will proceed with whatever has already been put forth.

The film Alina of Cuba is set to start shooting on August 15 and will also feature performances from Mía Maestro, Maria Cecilia Botero, and Alanna de la Rosa, to name a few. 

Source: Variety

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Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Always having had a deep fascination for content creation and pop-culture, Debdipta joined as a writer at FandomWire in 2022. Currently pursuing an undergraduate Mass Communication degree, Debdipta enjoys the intricacies of cinema and film-making, with a year of screenwriting experience to account for. Besides her knack for writing, she's also an avid reader, a connoisseur of music across all genres, and a die-hard fan of Charlie Kaufman.