James Franco Controversy Spotlights Hollywood’s Perpetual Blind Spot

Portuguese and Spaniards are not suitable to play “Latino” roles,

ED MORALES

Last week actor John Leguizamo voiced strong opposition to the announcement that James Franco had been cast in the role of Fidel Castro in the upcoming independent film, “Alina of Cuba”, based on the life of Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández.

“How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?” lamented Leguizamo on anInstagram post last Friday. “I don’t got a (problem) with Franco but he ain’t Latino!” he added. FernándeztoldDeadline she supports the casting, and lead creative producer John Martinez O’Felan told the publication that “finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro” was “a fun and challenging process,” citing efforts to “comb through the entire ranks of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood” and noting Franco’s “close physical resemblance” to the Cuban leader.

Leguizamo is drawing attention to two distinct but related problems around Hollywood’s representation of Latinos in film and…

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