John Leguizamo has been in Hollywood for long enough to know the good and the bad and to understand the ugly parts that most would rather keep hidden. And Leguizamo has always been all about calling those out, loudly and eloquently.
But not content with just doing so on social media, Leguizamo has now penned an op-ed in the LA Times discussing the same issues he’s always been loud about championing – and going deep into the representation problems, and Hollywood discrimination. And Leguizamo did not hold back, calling out not just the lack of opportunities for latinos – but the stereotypes and the fact that many roles that should go to latino performers end up going to Spaniards.
“Spaniards are not Latinos, Spaniards are white Europeans,” Leguizamo was categorical in his explanation. Ironically, while this feels like the kind of thing that doesn’t need to be said -- everyone knows where Spain is, right? -- considering the state of Hollywood, it probably does. Take Javier Bardem's turn as Desi Arnaz. Penelope Cruz’s entire filmography. Do we have to go on? Is there one Spaniard people actually realize isn’t latino?
But Leguizamo was clear the problem doesn’t stop there, it’s even bigger, discussing the fact that latine stories continue to be co-opted, even without latinos being cast. And though Hollywood has taken some steps forward in the past few years, we’re far from where we need to be. Leguizamo understands that. And he’s not about to let us -- or Hollwyood -- forget it.