Lin-Manuel Miranda Apologizes for Lack of Afro-Latino Representation Among 'In the Heights' Leading Roles
"I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy," Miranda wrote.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is apologizing after “In the Heights” was criticized for its lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latino actors in the film's leading roles.
"I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism,” Miranda wrote on social media. "I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy."
The movie musical takes place in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, a bustling and diverse community with a rich cultural heritage. But some say the film has fallen short in its representation and is an example of colorism, or discrimination against people with a darker skin tone, in the Latino community.
The issue was first raised in a video interview published by The Root with the cast and crew of the film.
“It was a lovely musical. But as a Black woman of Cuban descent, specifically from New York City, it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the fact that most of your principal actors were light-skinned or white-passing Latinx people,” journalist Felice León said in the interview.
The controversy was also a hot topic on “The View.”
“You just walk through Washington Heights — it is filled with Black Dominicans, Black Puerto Ricans. The fact that there is a film about Washington Heights that doesn't show you that, does miss the mark,” host Sunny Hostin said.
Co-host Ana Navarro defended Miranda.
“We should not burden Lin Manuel for the responsibility of representing every Latino, every shade and every ethnicity, every creed, in a 2-hour musical,” Navarro said.
In his post, Miranda vowed to do better.
"I’m truly sorry. I'm learning from the feedback. I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening," he wrote.
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