John Leguizamo is praising “Black Panther” a step toward undoing negative stereotypes for minorities in film.
When speaking about how minorities are typically portrayed negatively in film and TV, Leguizamo got emotional when discussing why a “Black Panther” is so important.
“This ‘Black Panther’ thing is so exciting for me,” Leguizamo said toward the end of his interview with Ricky Camilleri at Build Studio on Feb. 9. “The other day I was doing a Q&A for ‘Latin History for Morons’ and this mom said that her son said, ‘Look, black people can be superheroes too?’ Her son was like flabbergasted. If you see yourself represented positively, imagine what it does to the youth. It’s going to make me cry.”
The actor and activist also said that in order to show Latinos in film, we need to tell their stories — as many other Latino actors have recently said.
He said one of the main reasons he gets involved in roles that portray Latinos in a positive light is to stop “the negativity out there” that plagues Latino characters.
Playing positive role models “undoes the negative messaging that’s out there constantly. How do you project yourself into the future positively if you haven’t seen yourself positively represented,” Leguizamo said during the 30 minute interview.
Leguizamo used his interview time to address his desire to see a united political front among all minorities.
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“Us black and Latin people we gotta stand up for ourselves but we cannot do it completely alone,” Leguizamo said when discussing the need for political unity. “We need the white liberal.”
Leguizamo — who said his one-man show “Latin History For Morons” will go on tour — said that his play has been so pivotal that some educators have asked for a syllabus of his play.
“How was all of this information kept from me and kept from Americans?” Leguizamo said as he recalls researching his play.
Leguizamo can next be seen in the mini-series “Waco.”