A famous Latino actress has resigned from a San Francisco stage production after backlash from the local Latino community because she showed support for a conservative candidate for California governor who's against illegal immigration.
Maria Conchita Alonso, who's of Cuban and Venezuelan descent, appeared alongside GOP Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County in his recent TV ad for governor.
Donnelly is a Tea Party favorite, reported KPIX-TV in San Francisco, adding that he's against illegal immigration and was once with the Minutemen Project, which patrolled the border with Mexico to catch those coming across illegally.
Alonso, known for her role in “Moscow on the Hudson” with Robin Williams, was to perform next month at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco’s Mission District in a Spanish-language version of “The Vagina Monologues." The show producer is Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
“We really cannot have her in the show, unfortunately,” Lopez told KPIX-TV in San Francisco, adding that Alonso abruptly resigned from the cast on Friday.
“Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of the Mission," Lopez told KPIX. "Doing what she is doing is against what we believe.”
That seemed to be confirmed when Alonso heard from angry listeners of a San Francisco Spanish-language radio station Friday after she said in an interview with KIQI-AM that she supported many of Donnelly’s views on illegal immigration.
“I am among those who think that we should help illegal immigrants who are already in the country and who do not have a criminal background, who contribute and who are good people, but those who are not, we need to take out,” Alonso is quoted by La Opinion as saying in an email, according to Fox News Latino. “I spoke with Tim about this issue and he agrees with me.”
Several listeners didn't like Alonso using the term “illegal” to describe undocumented immigrants during the interview or that she used vulgar language in the campaign ad.
“We don’t act like that. First of all, that is not a typical Latina,” Jim Salinas, a long time Mission resident and former president of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, told KPIX.
Salinas added that there probably would have been boycotts if Alonso had stayed on the production.
“First Amendment rights, we all have the right to say something. But it’s also our right to say we object to that,” Salinas told KPIX.
While Leo Lacayo, a prominent San Francisco Latino Republican who's been pushing his party to take a more moderate stance on immigration, said he believes Alonso is being treated unfairly.
“It was a political ad, it was a funny ad,” Lacayo told KPIX. “That anybody would lose employment over what their political leanings are is absurd.”
Here's the TV ad: