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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — An actress is facing a backlash in San Francisco’s Latino community, after she voiced support for a conservative candidate for California governor.
Maria Conchita Alonso starred in a campaign ad for Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County, a Tea Party favorite who is seeking the Republican nomination.
Donnelly has voiced strong views against illegal immigration and was once involved with the Minutemen Project, a group that patrolled the border with Mexico to catch immigrants coming across.
“Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground,” Donnelly said in the ad.
Standing next to Donnelly, Alonso jokingly translated in Spanish, “We’re screwed.”
Alonso is an actress of Cuban and Venezuelan descent. She is perhaps best known for her role in the movie “Moscow on the Hudson” with co-star Robin Williams.
The actress 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,” scheduled for a run from February 14th through 17th. The show is being produced by none other than Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
“We really cannot have her in the show, unfortunately,” Lopez told KPIX 5. She said Alonso abruptly resigned from the cast on Friday, given the backlash on the immigration issue.
“Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of the Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe,” Lopez said.
Alonso received an earful from listeners of Spanish-language radio station KIQI 1010 AM in San Francisco on Friday, after she said in an interview that she supported many of Donnelly’s views on illegal immigration. Several listeners took her to task after she used the term “illegal” to describe undocumented immigrants.
In the ad, Alonso holds a chihuahua named “Tequila” and uses some vulgar language which has also been a point of contention among some Latino viewers.
“We don’t act like that. First of all, that is not a typical Latina,” said Jim Salinas, a long time Mission resident and former president of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club. Salinas said 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 said.
Leo Lacayo, a prominent San Francisco Latino Republican, has been pushing his party to be more moderate on immigration. He thinks Alonso is being treated unfairly.
“It was a political ad, it was a funny ad,” Lacayo said. “That anybody would lose employment over what their political leanings are is absurd.”