James Franco Is Facing Backlash For His Casting As Fidel Castro

    "Ryan Gosling as Barack Obama" energy.

    On Thursday, Deadline confirmed that actor James Franco will play Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro in the upcoming film Alina of Cuba.

    close up of James Franco

    Actor Mía Maestro will star alongside Franco as Castro's former lover, Natalia “Naty” Revuelta.

    Fidel Castro

    Since the news broke, however, Franco — who is a white man— has faced backlash for his casting as the Cuban politician.

    close up of Fidel

    People said the role should've gone to a Latino actor:

    So, apparently James Franco has been cast as Castro in an upcoming film. They couldn't find a single Latino actor to play Castro? Also, what allyship looks like is Franco declining the role and recommending a Latino actor!!!

    Twitter: @uche_blackstock

    I'm so confused by the disrespect the industry continues to give Latine performers. Now James Franco has been cast as Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro, everyone.

    Twitter: @RuizaJenni

    why tf would they cast JAMES FRANCO to play FIDEL CASTRO?😭 like were the latinos unavailable or??

    Twitter: @catrussy

    justifications surrounding james franco's casting as castro (his skin was light, he had "galician" heritage...) are missing the the entire point---latine are grossly underrepresented in hollywood, and this was an obvious role for a latino that went to a white actor

    Twitter: @amariamontoya

    People in the industry also called out the casting. Actor John Leguizamo spoke out on Instagram saying, "How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?"

    close up of John Leguizamo

    "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 problem with Franco, but he ain’t Latino."

    close up of John at an event

    The View cohost, Ana Navarro, agreed with John.

    .@JohnLeguizamo is absolutely right. And frankly, I don’t want to see a movie about Fidel Castro, regardless of who they cast. https://t.co/xj7sM9hUey

    Twitter: @ananavarro

    Actor Jeff Torres said, "I'm auditioning for another generic Latin American drug dealer, and James Franco is dead ass playing Fidel Castro."

    I’m auditioning for another generic Latin-American drug dealer and James Franco is dead ass playing Fidel Castro. Latinos gettin’ done dirty af out here and everywhere. Damn lol

    Twitter: @iamJeffTorres

    Some on Twitter even joked how bizarre the casting is:

    james franco as fidel castro gives off this adjacent energy


    The producers justifying why they cast James Franco as Fidel Castro: "Sure he isn't Latino but he IS an asshole so we got that part totally right."

    Twitter: @Joannahausmann

    James has not responded to the backlash, but we will update you if he does.

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