We all like to believe that Hollywood has changed its ways and that there is more diversity in casting, but this is not entirely true. While there are numerous new movies and television shows featuring diverse casts, it is still not enough.
Because, at the end of the day, there are thousands of stories in which a white actor is cast in a role that was written for a different race. And many coloured actors, including John Leguizamo, are sick of it.
John Leguizamo discusses how he couldn’t get a tan because he wanted to work.
I’ve benefitted from being light skin, and I stayed out of the sun so I could work. I definitely would not go in the sun. For years I was so pasty so I could work. All the Latinos who’ve made it so far, a lot of them were light-skinned. What happened to all the Afro Latinos and the majority of the indigenous Latinos? They don’t get a shot.John Leguizamo
While he has made a name for himself in recent years, he has had to deal with a great deal of racism while attempting to achieve equality in Hollywood. Even today, showrunners are hesitant to include more than the token-coloured actor just to keep the audience happy.
They couldn’t have two Latin people in the movie because then it becomes a Latin movie. He meant he can only have one token at a time. He said “Too bad John you’re Puerto Rican, ‘cause you’re so talented. Otherwise, you’d be so much further along.”John Leguizamo
For his first night hosting The Daily Show, John Leguizamo took shots at Hollywood.
I can’t tell you how many times in my career I’ve been told at auditions that I sound too Latino, not Latino enough, that Latinos don’t want to watch other Latinos, all sorts of madness. Well, guess what? If white people can take our roles, I am going to take theirs. When they do the TV series based on Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski accident trial, Imma be Gwyneth Paltrow.John Leguizamo