‘Alina of Cuba’ Producer Responds to John Leguizamo’s Criticism of James Franco Casting as Fidel Castro: “His Comments Are Culturally Uneducated”

Following criticisms by John Leguizamo of James Franco’s casting as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the independent film Alina of Cuba

producer John Martinez O’Felan has responded, calling the comments “culturally uneducated.”

Set to be directed by Miguel Bardem and based on a script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz

Franco stars opposite Mía Maestro, who portrays Natalia “Naty” Revuelta

a Cuban-born socialite with whom Castro becomes romantically entwined. The film is based on the true-life story of Alina Fernandez

played by Ana Villafañe — a Cuban exile turned social advocate who learns at age 10 that she is Castro’s daughter.

Leguizamo, a Colombian American actor who wrote and performed the Broadway production Latin History for Morons

took to Instagram on Friday to slam the decision to cast Franco, questioning why Hollywood is “excluding” the Latinx community and notes that a film on Castro is a “seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement.”

“How is this still going on?” Leguizamo, who has previously been vocal about the lack of Latinx representation in Hollywood, said of the casting.

“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 be wrong! I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!”