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After His Son Was Bullied John Leguizamo Learned All About Latino History To Teach His Son To Be Proud

Joan Marcus / Playbill

In a Vogue interview last week, John Leguizamo reveals he’s been working for four years to bring his newest show “Latin History For Morons,” currently on a run at the Public Theater in New York City, to fruition. The one-man show, that Leguizamo says he’s been prepping for his whole life, came out of brushing up on his own Latino history in order to help educate his son who was being bullied for being Latino at the time. He wanted his son to “feel proud of their background,” he said in the Vogue interview.

John Leguizamo’s new show spans the entirety of Latino history.


Starting from the Maya all the way to the “Age of Pitbull.” Toma!


Leguizamo says he’s been prepping for his new one-man show “Latin History For Morons” his whole life.

Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / Youtube

“I guess my whole life has been preparing me for this show in a lot of ways. I’ve had a lot of those fights growing up, even now on Twitter. And then when my son got bullied, I couldn’t believe it was still going on, even for my kids. It was shocking to me.”

He resents never being taught Latino history in school. Of his education, he says “When I was studying the Civil War, there was nothing about everything we did, not one mention of any participation or contribution, ever. And it would’ve changed my life.”


Leguizamo says “You just hear the craziest shit,” when discussing inequality in Hollywood, where someone told him Latinos just want to watch white people on screen.

Via: KUSH Comedy / Youtube / Giphy

Da fuq?!

When asked about his New York Times op-ed, where he discusses his very own agent telling him “John, you’re so talented but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along.” He says “You just hear the craziest shit.” He recalls an interaction with a studio head who told him “Well, you know Latin people don’t really like to see Latin people. They like to see white people.”


But, Leguizamo, is also optimistic and thinks some things are changing.

Johnny Legs Quote
Via: micdotcom / Tumblr

Although he acknowledges the inequality and negativity associated in the on-screen portrayal of Latinos, especially as “POTUS 45” (as he refers to President Trump) has fostered the environment to perpetuate those stereotypes, he says that the behind-the-scenes roles are much more promising as Latinos move into producing and directing.


Leguizamo recognizes the theater is a better place to bring politically charged content to life.

On why he often prefers theater to film and TV, he brings up his fellow Broadway show hitmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda and the success of his show “Hamilton,” Leguizamo says:

“Where did Hamilton happen? It didn’t happen in movies and television, because it couldn’t. “So we’re going to do a historic piece on Hamilton and everyone is going to be black and Latin playing our forefathers.” They would say: “But wait, they didn’t speak hip-hop in the 1700s?” It would’ve never happened! But where did it happen? On Broadway, in the theater.”


Here’s an interview he did back in October discussing how ignorant we all are about Latino history.

Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / Youtube

I could watch these two all day.


Here’s how you can help John Leguizamo fund “Latin History For Morons.”

[H/T:] John Leguizamo Is Here to Explain Latino History for You

READ: John Leguizamo Just Put Everyone On Blast With New York Times Essay


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‘To Wong Foo’ Is An Undeniable Gay Cult Classic And John Leguizamo’s Role As A Drag Queen Is Still One Of The Best Performances

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‘To Wong Foo’ Is An Undeniable Gay Cult Classic And John Leguizamo’s Role As A Drag Queen Is Still One Of The Best Performances

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar / Universal Pictures

“To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Juli Newmar” is one of the greatest gay cult classics of the 20th century. The movie follows three drag queens, played by John Leguizamo, Patrick Swayze, and Wesley Snipes as they make their way from New York to California for a drag queen pageant. The movie, released in 1995, gave the drag queen and LGBTQ+ community a diverse and exceptionally rare moment of representation during the 1990s. Now, since the movie is being release in Blu-Ray, John Leguizamo sat down and told Shout! Factory what he did to get into the character of Chi Chi Rodriguez.

John Leguizamo gave Latina drag queens rare and exceptional representation during the 1995 gay cult classic “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”

Credit: @mathewrodriguez / Twitter

For so many Latino fans of the movie, it is the first time they ever saw themselves represented in media. Chi Chi Rodriguez was a major moment for queer Latino representation in the 1990s when being gay was still taboo in mainstream media. Alongside co-stars Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze, Leguizamo was able to bring a Latina drag queen to a larger audience.

Now that the movie is being released on Blu-Ray, Leguizamo sat down with Shout! Factory and discussed what it took to be Chi Chi Rodriguez.

“I was just like, ‘Oh my God. Let me sink my teeth into this Chi Chi Rodriguez. I know how to bring her to life,” Leguizamo told Shout! Factory. “‘I know I can just ramp it up, man. Like, Chi Chi Rodriguez on steroids.’”

Leguizamo wanted to make sure that he truly captured what it meant to be a Latino drag queen.

“I’m a writer so I look at the three-act structure of a screenplay and I always want to have an arc to my character. If you’re the lead, you have a large arch, and that’s incredible,” Leguizamo explains. “But, you know, I was the third lead so my arc was a little smaller but it was good enough for me to go from being sort of rough around the edges to being this polished drag queen. That was my journey, you know, and it was all about accepting my ethnicity.”

Chi Chi Rodriguez’s story arc was hyper-focused on coming to terms with her identity.

“I had my face done really light all the time because I have family members who [have] issues with self-hate and race,” Leguizamo says. “So their face skin will be like five times lighter than the color of their neck. So, that always tripped me out so I wanted to put a little bit of that into it.”

Leguizamo brought his authentic experience to the role and it centered around makeup and colorism that is toxic within the Latino community.

“At the end of the movie, my neck and my face matched,” Leguizamo explains. “My face is much darker. So, that was the arc. Chi Chi becomes polished but accepting of herself, mature, romantically grows. She just becomes instead of a taker, she becomes a giver.”

You can watch Joh Leguizamo’s full interview below.

Check out “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” and get your pride celebrations started off right.

READ: The 24 Slayingest Latina Queens From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

After An Investigation, A Mock Slave Auction At A New York School Was Unsurprisingly Determined As Having A “Profoundly Negative Effect” On Children

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After An Investigation, A Mock Slave Auction At A New York School Was Unsurprisingly Determined As Having A “Profoundly Negative Effect” On Children

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In March, a fifth-grade teacher led a class instruction on US slavery by putting Black students in fake shackles and bidding them off to white students in a mock slave auction. Surprising to no one, an investigation found that the lesson caused a “profoundly negative effect” on the students.

According to the office of Attorney General Letitia James, two classes at The Chapel School, a private Lutheran institution that enrolls students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in Bronxville, New York, participated in the controversial assignment. The teachers, who both teach fifth-grade at the school, had some of their Black students leave the classroom, where they were placed in imaginary “shackles,” and return inside, where they stood against a wall while their white classmates “bid” on them.

After a student’s parent complained, James took up the probe.

“The investigation found that the teacher’s reenactments in the two classes had a profoundly negative effect on all of the students present — especially the African-American students — and the school community at large,” she said in a statement. “Following the reenactments, the school terminated the teacher’s employment.”

Additionally, a series of agreements have been made with the school. On Wednesday, James said that the institution would be hiring a chief diversity officer, which she would approve, and establish a plan to increase the school’s diversity and create a new code of conduct that addresses issues of race.

“Every young person — regardless of race — deserves the chance to attend school free of harassment, bias, and discrimination,” James said. “Lessons designed to separate children on the basis of race have no place in New York classrooms, or in classrooms throughout this country. I thank The Chapel School for agreeing to take measures that directly address the issues of race, diversity, and inclusion at the school. My office will continue efforts to promote safe environments where all students can learn and thrive.”

Read: This Latina Shuts Down Another Latina’s Racism On The Subway

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