The signing of James Franco to give life to Fidel Castro in a film directed by the Spanish Miguel Bardem ignited a heated controversy in Hollywood due to the accusations of sexual abuse made against the actor and complaints about his lack of Latino ancestry.
“How can this still be happening?”Colombian John Leguizamo asked in an Instagram post in which he criticized the “appropriation” that, according to him, supposes that an Anglo-Saxon actor plays a Hispanic leader.
Although Leguizamo insisted that “he has no problem with Franco,” he did not hesitate to call for a “boycott” of the film because “he is not Latino” and “Hollywood is stealing the narratives of his community.
Salvadoran Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, host of the program “The View”, one of the most popular on US television, went further by criticizing the mere inclusion of Castro’s character in a film.
“I want to think that no Latino would want to play and glorify a murderous dictator who terrorized Cuba for six decades”commented.
For his part, Jeff Torres, also of Latino origin, pointed out the lack of opportunities for actors like him in the industry: “I’m auditioning for any other Latin American drug trafficker and James Franco is seriously going to play Fidel Castro.”
Anticipating the controversy, John Martinez O’Felan, the film’s producer, explained in the press release announcing the signing that they had opted for Franco because of all the actors interested in the role, he was the one with “more facial resemblance”.
”We use the Galician origins of Fidel Castro as our compass”assured the producer.
Franco, born in the US in 1978, is of Jewish, Swedish and Portuguese descent. However, the controversy did not remain in the ancestors of the actor, whose career went into decline after a series of sexual scandals and allegations of abuse by several women, including the one presented in 2019 by a group of students from his classes. of interpretation.
The demand was joined by more students who indicated that the actor recreated “simulations of sexual acts that went far beyond industry standards”recorded some women at their rehearsals and approached young women promising jobs on Hollywood projects that never materialized.
For this reason, Franco signed an agreement with the victims for which he paid 2.3 million dollars to be distributed among those affected.
The independently produced film will be titled “Alina of Cuba” and will feature actress Ana Villafañe to play the daughter of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, and with Mía Maestro in the role of Natalia Revuelta, her mother.
The script will narrate the youth of Alina Fernández as the illegitimate daughter of Castro and her subsequent exile in Spain as an opponent of the Cuban regime.
According to Variety magazine, it was Fernández herself, also a producer of the film, who chose Franco to play her father.