John Leguizamo Jokes He'd Play Gwyneth Paltrow in Show About Trial: 'If White People Can Take Our Roles'

The Menu actor spoke out about the Hollywood casting disconnect while guest hosting The Daily Show earlier this week

John Leguizamo is ready for representation.

While guest hosting The Daily Show on Monday, the Violent Night actor, 62, pointed out that he has always been a champion for Latinos in Hollywood, but that recent casting decisions have him contemplating taking on another role.

"Well guess what, if white people can take our roles, Imma take theirs," he said. "When they do the TV series based on Gwyneth Paltrow's ski accident trial, Imma be Gwyneth Paltrow."

As a graphic from a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative 2020 study flashed on the screen showing the demographics of Latinos in the county, the Menu star continued about the disconnect.

"I mean it's crazy, Latinos are almost 20% of the country but we're barely represented in film and television?" he said incredulously. "Especially since every movie last year took place in the Multiverse."

John Leguizamo Jokes He'd Play Gwyneth Paltrow in Show About Trial
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty, Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

He jokingly added, "C'mon, you're telling me there ain't one dimension that's in The Heights? And then when there is a good Latino role it's going to people like James Franco."

It was announced last summer that Franco had reportedly been tapped to play Fidel Castro in an upcoming biopic from director Miguel Bardem, Alina of Cuba: La Hija Rebelde (which translates to Alina of Cuba: The Rebel Daughter).

John Leguizamo
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Speaking out about being visible on film has long been a Leguizamo rallying cry.

After struggling to land roles early in his career, the actor started writing his own material instead, resulting in critically acclaimed stage shows like 1990's Mambo Mouth, 1992's Spic-O-Rama, 1998's Freak and 2016's Latin History for Morons. They all satirized Latino stereotypes through Leguizamo's own life experiences and aimed to teach the audience more about his community.

In 2020, he boycotted the Emmy Awards when Latino talent and shows were almost completely left out of the major categories. The only Latin nomination was for The Handmaid Tale's Alexis Bledel, whose dad was born and raised in Argentina while her mom grew up in Mexico City.

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"I just feel like it's such a damage to kids not to see themselves reflected back in positive ways," he told PEOPLE at the time.

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