If you think Oprah Winfrey and (possibly) Jay-Z are the only celebs that may consider running for public office, think again. You can now add a Latino to that mix — but not for president of the United States.
Actor John Leguizamo says he’d give up Hollywood for life serving in office.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Leguizamo says that while he loves working as an actor he would give up the Hollywood life and trade it in to serve the people of Texas.
“You know, I love what I do. I would hate to give it up,” Leguizamo tells The Daily Beast. “But if I could I would run for office in Texas. I would run some place heinous to make a difference. Yes, I would run if my celebrity could get me elected, to get rid of gerrymandering and to allow people to teach Latino history in Texas which is 39 percent Latino and around 12 percent black, so we people of color are the majority. Why are we so beaten down there?”
Leguizamo points to Texas legislation that once banned Mexican-American history from being taught in the state.
As of last year, school officials had banned books on Mexican-American history, but that decision has been overturned in court. Leguizamo, who is currently starring on Broadway in “Latino History for Morons,” spoke about the effects bans like this has on Latinos.
He says these restrictions “makes Latino people, and experience, invisible, meaning white people don’t have to respect them, and instead can abuse and more easily disenfranchise them.”
Leguizamo has been a vocal opponent President Donald Trump from the very beginning of his campaign.
He voiced his disdain for Trump back in 2015 when Trump spoke offensively about Mexicans. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he would be boycotting “Saturday Night Live” for having Trump as a host.
“If he had said those things about any other ethnic group, he would not be on SNL,” Leguizamo said. “I find it hurtful and insulting, and you’re celebrating someone who has said some horrible things. I just find it unacceptable. I will not watch.”
He added that Trump was very different in person than he was for the camera.
“His lack of sympathy and empathy is ridiculous,” Leguizamo told The Hollywood Reporter. “He’s very friendly, very nice, but then he goes and says things like that. You’re catering to a small group of Tea Party voters, or you’re a moron… He’s a different person on camera.”
Leguizamo has been advocating for Texas on social media, even calling for a boycott of the state over the passage of SB 4.
I'm canceling my tour of Texas! And asking my friends and Fam who were going to visit not to!
— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) May 8, 2017
The law, which was passed in May, requires local law enforcement to follow federal procedures concerning undocumented people — essentially deputizing them as ICE agents.
Tonight, Leguizamo will join other celebrities as part of the resistance movement and speak in The People’s State of the Union.
— United We Dream (#DreamActNow: 478-488-8059) (@UNITEDWEDREAM) January 29, 2018
The People’s State of the Union, which will live stream tonight on Facebook, will serve as a retort to Trump’s State of the Union that is scheduled for tomorrow night.
“The #PeoplesSOTU will celebrate the remarkable growth and success of the Resistance Movement and outline a plan of action for the coming year — focusing on voter rights, voter registration, and voter turnout,” according to a Facebook post about the event. “Together, we will win back our country!”