Casting of James Franco as Fidel Castro in ‘Alina Of Cuba’ Sparks Backlash Online and in the Industry

James Franco, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2018, has been cast as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in “Alina de Cuba.” The standalone film will tell the story of Castro’s daughter, Alina Fernandez, according to Deadline.

Fernandez was 10 years old when she learned that Castro was her biological father. She went on to become a staunch anti-Castro activist and was repeatedly arrested as a dissident for trying to flee the communist nation before successfully defecting to Spain in 1993.

Fernandez will serve as a creative and biographical consultant on set, and the project was written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter José Rivera and Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban playwright Nilo Cruz. But Franco’s casting has already drawn backlash, especially from fellow actors.

“How is it still going? John Leguizamo captioned an Instagram post on Friday. “How does Hollywood still exclude us, but also steal our stories? No more Hollywood appropriation and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up!

“No longer a seriously difficult story to tell without an enlargement that would be wrong!” Leguizamo added. “I have no problem with Franco but he’s not a Latino!”

“I’m auditioning for another generic Latin American drug dealer and James Franco is a dead ass playing Fidel Castro,” tweeted actor Jeff Torres. “Latinos get dirty here and everywhere.”

Chief Creative Producer John Martinez O’Felan told Deadline that the casting, however, was carefully researched and “scrutinized through all ranks of Latino-rooted actors in Hollywood.” He noted that Franco, who is a Portuguese quarterback, had a “close physical resemblance” to Castro.

O’Felan told Deadline that his team specifically focused on actors of Spanish and Portuguese descent, as Galicians like Castro shared that ancestry. He said Franco was chosen for having “the closest facial resemblance” and that he managed to “find someone Alina Fernandez would strongly approve of”.

O’Felan said that “the goal has been to produce an artistic piece of modern Hispanic history, with the vision of the project as being truly inclusive by bringing together actors and creatives from cross-generational and recent Latin roots from the United States. , Latin America and the world. .”

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California School of Communication and Journalism responded to the news on Twitter contrasting the cancellation of “several Latinx shows” to Franco’s casting: “No wonder there’s been so little progress in this town.”

The supporting cast includes Cuban actors Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez, as well as María Cecilia Botero of “Encanto.” “Alina of Cuba” will begin filming in Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia later this month with colonial architecture mimicking that of Havana.

The Huffington Gt

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