In a New York Times op-ed published this morning, John Leguizamo cites the “one good thing” that Donald Trump has done: Thanks to his flair for racism and xenophobia, the Republican nominee has “galvanized” the Latinx community.
The Colombian American actor’s essay, “Too Bad You’re Latin,” takes its title from a conversation he recalls having in Hollywood:
A well-intentioned producer once said to me, “John, you’re so talented, but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along.” When I pitched a movie about Latinos, another producer said: “Latin? People don’t want to see Latin people.” This is not just my experience but a typical Latino person’s experience in America.
The star of Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet goes on to remind readers of the vital role that Latinxs have played in U.S. history—before the U.S. was the U.S., even—and condemn the state of racial profiling, anti-immigrant prejudice, and media representation in America. “We need a Latino Spring in this country,” he writes, calling on Latinx voters (who constitute the largest ethnic minority in the United States) to “demand power and equal opportunity” and make their voices heard at the polls next month.
In a November interview with Yahoo! News Live, Leguizamo lambasted Saturday Night Live for inviting Trump to host: “I find it hurtful and insulting, and you’re celebrating someone who has said some horrible things. I find it unacceptable, I will not watch SNL anymore.”
Read Leguizamo’s NYT op-ed in full here.