HomeEntertainmentJohn Leguizamo Lobbying for the National Latino Museum: 'The Big Thing I...

John Leguizamo Lobbying for the National Latino Museum: ‘The Big Thing I Want to Do Before I Die’ (Exclusive)

The star was a guest at Tammy Haddad’s annual “Garden Brunch,” which takes place in Washington, D.C., on Saturday before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage

actor John Leguizamo is stepping up his lobbying efforts for the National Museum of American Latinos, describing it as his mission and the one “big thing” he wants to do before he dies.

“I had the opportunity to meet really important people to advance my agenda,” Leguizamo told People as he left Tammy Haddad’s annual “Garden Brunch,” held Saturday in Washington, D.C. Was. White House Correspondents’ Dinner, “I’m there to get a Latino museum in the mall and that’s a big thing I want to do before I die, my mission.”

john wick The actor says he plans to discuss the museum’s status with lawmakers, including Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“It stalled as a location. We don’t want the museum to be miles from here because it makes us feel like second class, like it doesn’t matter. We need to be on the (National) Mall because What we do is important. We have contributed for 500 years,” he says.

Connected:John Leguizamo Says He Was Once Fired From A Movie Because He Couldn’t Do ‘Two Latin Guys’

Cindy Ord / Getty Images for SiriusXM John Leguizamo

Cindy Ord / Getty Images for SiriusXM John Leguizamo

“We discovered America, built America, suffered in America and contribute $2.8 trillion to the economy every year in this country. If we were our own country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world. Even more than Brazil Bigger, bigger than Britain. Bigger than Italy. Now what? Now what?” he adds.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Leguizamo is an outspoken advocate of Hispanic representation in the media and entertainment industries. PEOPLE asked him how he would rate those industries on that issue.

“It’s pathetic. I mean, white people are only 59 percent of the population, but so what should they reside in? How much real estate should they have? At least, let’s say 60 percent. We’re at 20 percent of the population. And less than 2 percent are politicians, less than 2 to 3 percent in leading roles, less than 1 percent are editors and journalists,” he says.

“And it’s not for lack of trying; it’s not for lack of talent because we’re not allowed in. We’re not asked. When we ask, we’re rejected. That’s the situation, ” They said.

Connected:John Leguizamo is sick of Latinos being underrepresented in Hollywood: ‘We’re the 1 percent of the stories’

He also said that Latinos are not adequately represented on primetime television.

“I want 20 percent. We are 20 percent of the population. Give me 20 percent, even if we over-index in what we contribute economically to this country, even if we over-index at the box office over 30 percent of the US box office, $4 billion in streaming in the US, but we’re less than 2 percent of the lead,” Leguizamo said. “No, it’s not right. It’s not right, and it needs to change now.”

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Leguizamo called on television and film executives to “green light” more projects submitted by Latinos.

“They need to greenlight our projects. I keep pitching, and they keep denying, and they keep making excuses,” he said. “Lots of excuses. Just our green light – and put us on, that’s it.”

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