John Leguizamo, the comedian and actor who will serve as ambassador to the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York, got a surprise scolding from his father on Friday.
“Stop telling people you are Puerto Rican” was essentially the message from Alberto Leguizamo in an interview with the El Diario newspaper in New York.
“We are not Puerto Rican. I was born in Colombia and don’t have any family in Puerto Rico,” the elder Leguizamo said.
John Leguizamo, a widely known Latino entertainer stateside, is not widely thought of as a Puerto Rican by island residents.
Still, the entertainer has identified himself as the son of a Colombian mother and Puerto Rican father, a family background listed in his IMDB biography.
He noted, in a New York Daily News article this week, his “Puerto Rican heritage” and “Puerto Rican credentials.”
The comedian went on to say that his father is from Aguadilla, a town on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico.
That was news to his father, who showed El Diario a copy of his passport listing his 1936 birth in Colombia.
“I thought John had laid this to rest. I spoke to him about this two years ago and he said he was going to do it,” the elder Leguizamo said.
“It hurts me that [John] lies to the Puerto Ricans and doesn’t stand behind his Colombian roots,” he added.
Fox News Latino noted Friday that during the ceremony where he was named ambassador for Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan, the comedian said: “I will be there with my family … celebrating and being proud of who we are.”
A spokesman for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade said he would not be stripped of his ambassadorship because the parade has a history of “inclusion and diversity,” Fox News Latino reported.
Leguizamo’s camp did not immediately respond to the El Diario report.
Courtesy of Caribbean Business