'Alina of Cuba' casting controversy: Fans call for Pedro Pascal to replace James Franco as Fidel Castro
Infamous for its lack of representation, Hollywood has come under the scanner once again. This time, fans have been left angered over the casting of James Franco as the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Incidentally, fans have come up with what they fervently believe to be a much more suitable alternative - Pedro Pascal.
Set to be directed by Javier Bardem, ‘Alina of Cuba’ has been subject to repeated attacks ever since Franco was roped in to play the role of the famed Cuban revolutionary. It is amidst this storm of rage that several people have endorsed the 'Mandalorian' star instead, citing his South American heritage and striking physical resemblance.
While Pedro Pascal is also not Cuban, casting him would certainly be a step in the right direction in terms of cultural representation, diversity and sheer similarity in looks.
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One user took to Twitter to endorse Pascal for the role saying, "petition to cast Pedro Pascal instead of James Franco as Fidel Castro in 'Alina of Cuba'." This view has been met with a wide consensus, as several others came up in support. Another user writes, "Man Pedro Pascal is the one man, I believe in this man soo much, and he would eat please".
petition to cast Pedro Pascal instead of James Franco as Fidel Castro in 'Alina of Cuba'— Khushi (@khushifaced) August 5, 2022
Man Pedro Pascal is the one man,I believe in this man soo much,and he would eat please https://t.co/0XS2Pntv0l— FOURTEENO’ SIX . (@Fourteen_0Six) August 8, 2022
To top it off, James Franco's "problematic past" has also been highlighted by another user, who writes, "I would have gone with Pedro Pascal, even though he's Chilean. James Franco also has his problematic past." Clearly, film buffs do not seem to mind the slight cultural difference that Pascal, a Chilean, would bring to this movie about the Cuban leader.
Someone else highlighted the issue that while Franco has the blessings of Castro's daughter, Alina, it does not change the fact that he has been infamously accused of sexual misdemeanors by women and minors: "?? This doesn’t mean it’s a good casting. James Franco is known for talking to and attempting to have sex with underage girls … why is he even gettin cast in anything when Pedro pascal is right there…"
I would have gone with Pedro Pascal, even though he's Chilean. James Franco also has his problematic past. pic.twitter.com/DIla3NWnxc— Chris (@chrisechols) August 8, 2022
?? This doesn’t mean it’s a good casting. James Franco is known for talking to and attempting to have sex with underage girls … why is he even gettin cast in anything when Pedro pascal is right there…— ✊🏼Bidi Bidi-Bortion 👶🏻 (@ElTioOsito) August 8, 2022
With reports circulating that the choice can be justified owing to Franco and Castro sharing ancestral proximity - the actor's grandfather was born in Madeira and the Cuban leader's mother was from the Canary Islands. Plus, the 'Oz The Great and Powerful' actor is said to be of mixed ancestry, making him part-Portuguese. However, this has not gone down well with people.
Attacks on Franco's casting as Castro have gained ground ever since actor John Leguizamo scathingly criticized the same. In an Instagram post, he mentions, "Portuguese are not Latin nor are Spaniards they are white peoples from Europe! Latin people are from Latin America and the 90% r of us of mixed race! And That is why we are discriminated against!"
Still in its pre-production phase, 'Alina of Cuba' has already drawn raised eyebrows, and Hollywood's infamous casting choices have yet again come into the limelight.