James Franco Has Been Cast As Fidel Castro Despite Famously Not Being Cuban

The terminally inferior Franco brother continues to get roles, despite a decade of sexual misconduct allegations.


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In a baffling piece of casting, James Franco has been cast as Fidel Castro in an upcoming biopic and the backlash is big.

Over the weekend, it was announced by Deadline that the consistently inferior Franco brother, James Franco will play former Cuban president Fidel Castro. Franco is set to play Castro in Alina of Cuba, an upcoming biopic about Alina Fernandez aka Fidel Castro’s exiled daughter.

While the rest of the cast and the majority of the crew are Latino, the casting choice has been met with backlash. John Leguizamo posted his discontent on Instagram writing,

“How is this still going on?” Leguizamo wrote on Friday. “How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott!”

Leguizamo reiterated his issue wasn’t with Franco personally, but with how the casting discriminates Latinos out of their own roles. “I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!” Leguizamo said.

Indeed Latinos only make up about 5 percent of speaking roles in Hollywood, despite making up almost 20 percent of the US population. With films like Encanto and In The Heights, strides have been made in representing Latinos on screen. But instances like these show there is still work to be done.

And as if the racially insensitive casting wasn’t bad enough, Franco was still under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment until last year. From 2019 to 2021, Franco was embroiled in a lawsuit over allegations that he sexually harassed students at New York University.

The production’s defence of Franco’s casting also doesn’t pass the vibe check. However, Castro’s daughter, Alina Fernandez, who the biopic is about has defended Franco’s casting.

Fernandez told Deadline, “James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma.”  Fernández went on to defend the casting by emphasising that the cast and crew are mostly Latino, “the project is almost entirely Latino, both in front and behind the camera.”

It’s perhaps a piece of meta-casting to have one of the most hated tyrants in history portrayed by a huge alleged sleaze. But the casting ultimately amounts to awarding Franco a role after over a decade of consistent assault allegations, while keeping Latinos from starring in their own narratives.

As actor Jeff Torres wrote on Twitter, “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.”