John Leguizamo urges Latino involvement in social change



John Leguizamo is mad as hell and he isn't going to take it anymore.

MTV premiers Inocente, an award-winning documentary about the plight of a homeless teenage immigrant who pursues her dreams, today. Leguizamo serves as executive producer and came on board after being shown early footage. Albie Hecht, co-founder of non-profit film production company Shine Global, showed Leguizamo the footage and lit the spark, as Leguizamo loves documentary films, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

Leguizamo felt that MTV was the perfect choice to air the documentary.

"Their mojo is usually the lower the brow, the better, but now and again they will come up for air," says Leguizamo. "The way this is shot, this definitely belongs on MTV."

Leguizamo is very politically active. He recently has pushed for stricter gun control laws, taping PSA spots about it.  He believes that people emulate role models including entertainers.

He also supports a lot of policy changes. He says reaction can be negative from those who don't believe that celebrities have legitimate opinions on serious matters.

"Some actors like Sean Penn are very political in their lives and I admire that," he says. "But a lot of people won't do it because of the backlash...I wish Latin athletes, actors, producers who have so much power would do more. I don't hear them speaking up enough about an issue like immigration."

Leguizamo intends to travel to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September, to push the Democrats not to take for granted the Latino vote.

"There are a lot of important issues and I understand why the economy and jobs are on the minds of a lot of people," he says. "But there are a lot of smaller issues like immigration. If Obama wants the Latino vote, part of it comes to that."

As for the documentary, he believes it has the power of re-framing discussion on immigration by presenting it in terms of this journey and connecting it to both younger audiences. 

- John Leguizamo

Written by: Hamatosan
Aug 17th, 2012, 9:11 am

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