More and more attention has been drawn to Hollywood’s racial and gender disparities in recent months and years, but action has been slow to follow awareness. To help that process along, John Leguizamo has penned a New York Times op-ed about his experiences in the film industry, which the actor calls “a typical Latino person’s experience in America.”
He begins with two linked anecdotes: one in which he was told, “John, you’re so talented, but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along” by a producer, and another in which a different producer said to him that “people don’t want to see Latin people.” From there Leguizamo pivots to a discussion of the ways in which Donald Trump’s candidacy has “galvanized a conflicted and diverse community” by using racist rhetoric and dredging up anti-Latino sentiment.
Leguizamo’s brief history lesson on Latinos in America — and the fact they’ve been dying for this country before it was even a country — is well worth reading, as are his thoughts on the importance of voting in next month’s election. Read his full piece here.