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Entertainment & Arts

‘Roma’ actor Jorge Guerrero has been denied visas to the U.S. — and might miss the Oscars

ROMA
Actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez as Fermín in “Roma.”
(Alfonso Cuarón)

Alfonso Cuarón’s 1970s drama “Roma” is a critical darling with 10 Oscar nominations to its credit. But one of its stars — Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez, who plays the brooding militant Fermín — has not been able to secure a visa to attend screenings and other industry events in the U.S., according to an interview the actor gave to the Mexican lifestyle magazine Quién.

In that interview, which was published Tuesday, Guerrero said he has been denied visas to the U.S. on three occasions, despite the fact that, at one point, he submitted a letter from the film’s producers as evidence that he had official invitations to appear in the U.S.

“Specifically, I took a letter and they refused to read it,” he told Quién. “On my second attempt, they said I was going to go work, and I said that, no, I had been invited.”

In a separate interview with the Mexican entertainment program “De Primera Mano,” also released Tuesday, he said specifically that the letters came from Cuarón and Netflix (the production company for “Roma”) and reiterated that they went unread.

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“I tried giving it to the consul. They grabbed the paper and literally just returned my passport through the teller window,” he stated. “If they don’t want to read it, then it’s going to be very difficult.”

On Friday, a Netflix spokesperson told The Times that the streaming service and the film’s producers have been actively working to get Guerrero a visa in time for the Oscars. Cuarón, in the meantime, has been sharing media stories about the denial on his Twitter feed.

‘Roma’s’ Yalitza Aparicio on her historic Oscar nod: ‘He reflected us, indigenous people’ »

Guerrero, who has appeared in the series “Narcos: Mexico” and is known in his native country for a supporting role in the Telemundo series inspired by the life of pop singer Luis Miguel, told Quién that he first applied for a visa to enter the U.S. early last year so that he might visit as a tourist. That visa was denied.

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His subsequent applications have been for appearances related to “Roma.”

Some media outlets in Mexico, such as El Sol de Tijuana, have speculated that Guerrero might have been denied a visa due to racism, since the actor is indigenous in appearance.

Guerrero, however, told the Mexican daily El Universal that he did not feel “offended, angry or victimized,” noting that plenty of other Mexicans have visas denied.

He is hopeful he might nonetheless be able to secure a visa to come to the U.S. in time for Academy Awards celebrations at the end of February.

“I hope that this can be resolved in the best way,” he told the newspaper. “And I insist that if I don’t go, I’ll still be thrilled. It’s 10 nominations, darn it. This doesn’t happen every year!”

Representatives at Netflix could not be reached for comment.

Oscar nominations deliver milestones for Netflix’s ‘Roma,’ Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ »

carolina.miranda@latimes.com | Twitter: @cmonstah

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UPDATES:

Jan. 15, 11:13 a.m.: This article was updated with Netflix’s confirmation that it is actively working to get Guerrero a visa in times for the Oscars.


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