CERTAINLY UNEXPECTED IS THE RECENT ROLE OF THE CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR.
James Franco has a reputation for accepting unusual jobs (just look at his four-year stint on General Hospital), but his most recent assignment is unexpected in a way that’s upsetting some people. The actor will portray Fidel Castro in the film Alina of Cuba, which centers on Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández and the communist leader’s relationship with Fernández’s mother Natalia Revuelta Clews, as reported by Deadline on Thursday.
Since Franco hasn’t appeared on film since 2019, when the actor’s alleged wrongdoing first came to light, the revelation didn’t simply come as a shock to the general public. Continue reading to learn why social media is criticizing his latest initiative.
The film centers on one of Castro’s kids.
One of Castro’s nine children, Alina Fernández, is the subject of the book Alina of Cuba. At the age of 10, Fernández discovered that Castro was her father. She developed a dislike for Castro’s regime as an adult. Early in the 1990s, she fled to Spain before relocating to the United States.
The actor Ana Villafae, a Cuban-American, will play Fernández in the film. Má Maestro, an Argentinean, will portray Revuelta Clews.
Franco’s “facial similarity,” according to a producer, led to his casting.
Franco was chosen to play Castro because of his resemblance, according to one of the show’s creators, who spoke to Deadline.
To identify an actor with a comparable facial form, “[w]e looked through the full ranks of Latin actors in Hollywood, using Fidel Castro’s ancient Galician heraldry as our focal compass,” said John Martinez O’Felan.
The focus would be on developing James’ character’s accent, and we’d have a stunning on-screen match to captivate audiences and bring the story to life with true visual integrity. “In executing a close search into our hopefuls through the eye of Spanish and Portuguese genealogy which the Galicians held, we found that James, by far, had the closest facial likeness of our Industry’s leading actors.
Through his father, Franco shares a quarter Portuguese ancestry.
The casting news disappointed a lot of people.
Many people expressed their displeasure on Twitter after the news broke that Franco had been cast as Castro despite though he is neither Latino nor from Cuba.
Jeff Torres, an actor, posted: “James Franco is playing Fidel Castro and I’m trying out for another generic Latin American drug dealer. Latinos are doing immorally everywhere they go.” Tweeted author Lilliam Rivera: “As Fidel, James Franco. This week has demonstrated once again how Hollywood will permit just specific tales to be told by specific people. I do not mean latines when I say “particular individuals.””
Some people were particularly outraged because this week saw the cancellation of the HBO Max series Gordita Chronicles and the movie Batgirl, both of which had prominent Latinx performers.
“Batgirl and the Gordita Chronicles were canceled, and James Franco will portray Fidel Castro. Definitely a bad moment for Latin-related content “Matthew Barbot tweeted. On its website, The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative “Let’s be clear about this. Hollywood first axes Batgirl and several Latinx programs. After that, Castro and James Franco were cast? It is understandable why this community has made so little growth. They still fail to grasp it.”
Franco has also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Here’s the Youtube video by SiriusXM
Numerous women accused Franco of sexual misconduct in 2018, including students at his acting school. In an interview with Good Morning America, one of these students claimed that Franco “abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities” (via People). According to People, he later settled a sexual misconduct complaint brought by two students for $2 million.
In a 2021 interview with Jess Cagle, Franco discussed the claims. He asserted that he struggled with sex addiction, saying, “I did sleep with pupils while I was a teacher, and that was bad. But as I’ve already stated, I didn’t start the school for that reason, and I didn’t choose the students who would be in the class. So, it wasn’t part of my “grand plan.” Yes, there were times when I was having a consensual relationship with a student when I shouldn’t have been.”
This is another reason why many are angry over his comeback.
“Will James Franco return and glorify a person from Latin America? awfulness on two fronts. Yay, “Alessandra tweeted as a user. One more wrote, “I could name a hundred candidates to replace James Franco. This casting is appalling. We need better representation, and have people already forgotten that this man is the subject of numerous claims of sexual misconduct?”
Another person stated, “I recently learned that James Franco will be portraying Fidel Castro, which is a major smack in the face to talented latino actors. James Franco is the epitome of white male privilege—he can get away with accusations of sexual assault.”
Fernández is a consultant on the movie and supports Franco’s casting, according to Entertainment Weekly.