Alina of Cuba is an upcoming film that will be following the story of famous Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s daughter Alina who was exiled from Cuba and later became a prominent social advocate. The role of Alina will be played by Ana Villafañe and alongside her joining the cast will be Alanna de la Rosa, Harding Junior, Sian Chion, Rafael Ernesto, and Maria Botero. While the cast looks pretty impressive so far, there is one casting choice for the movie that fans and actors alike are not happy with. The role of the legendary Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been given to James Franco.
The obvious reason that the public is not happy with the decision is that Franco is a white actor and there has recently been a lot of controversy in Hollywood regarding white actors being cast in roles of a different ethnicity even though there are perfectly capable actors of that ethnicity willing to take the role on.
Creative producer of the film John Martinez O’Felan has defended the decision to cast Franco in the role of Castro by saying that the reason for casting Franco was his facial similarities to Castro and his Latin roots.
While James Franco indeed has one-quarter Portuguese ancestry, that is not what most people would consider being an authentic Latino.
Several Latin actors have taken to their social media to talk about the matter.
Actor Jeff Torres took to Twitter to write that he is currently “auditioning for another generic Latin-American drug dealer,” while Franco is getting ready to play the famous ex-president of Cuba.
On the other hand, John Leguizamo Tweeted “How is this still going on?” referring to the continual casting of white actors to play roles of other ethnicities when actors from said ethnicities are available ready, and willing.
Alina of Cuba is being directed by Miguel Bardem and is set to undergo production within August. Whether or not the controversy of Franco’s casting will affect production remains to be seen for now.