John Leguizamo on James Franco’s casting as Fidel Castro: ‘How is this still going on?’

Actor James Franco was recently cast in the role of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in Miguel Bardem’s independent film ‘Alina of Cuba’, based on Castro’s titular anti-communist daughter. The casting of a white actor in the role of a Latin American politician has evoked controversy. 

Columbian actor John Leguizamo, known for ‘Ice Age’ and ‘John Wick’ franchises, has spoken against the casting, and has accused the film of being another example of “Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well”.

He shared a screenshot of an article about the casting on Instagram and captioned it, “How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement which would b wrong! I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!”

Ana Villafañe plays the role of titular Alina Fernandez. As per Variety, the film’s production is slated to begin on August 15. Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez make up the supporting cast of ‘Alina of Cuba’. Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz have penned the script. 

The film follows Alina, who is Castro’s illegitimate daughter. During his life, she was a fierce critic of her biological father. The real Alina incidentally has supported Franco’s casting

Fidel Castro, born on August 13, 1926, ruled Cuba as a prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and as president from 1976 to 2008. Throughout his reign he was a major irritant of the US, whose CIA tried to assassinate him multiple times.