Lin-Manuel Miranda has officially responded to the critique of his latest film In The Heights, based on the 2008 Broadway show. The producer and actor shared an apology on social media after facing backlash for the lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latinx characters in leading roles.
“I hear that, without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the world feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy. In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry,” Miranda wrote in his apology.
“I’m trying to hold space for both the incredible pride in the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings,” Miranda added. “Thanks for your honest feedback. I promise to do better in my future projects, and I’m dedicated to the learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community.”
The musical shares the tale of a diverse, tight-knit community in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in upper Manhattan. According to the official synopsis, In The Heights fuses Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 14, 2021
Controversy on the film’s casting was heightened when Chu and cast members Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, and Melissa Barrera did an interview with Felice León on news and entertainment platform The Root about colorism, light-skinned privilege, and the lack of diversity in the movie’s representation.
“I think that was something we talked about and I needed to be educated about, of course. In the end, when we were looking at the cast, we tried to get the people who were best for those roles,” said Chu.
He added, “We’re not going to get everything right in a movie, we tried our best on all fronts of it.”
In Grace’s response, she stated, “I hope that this is cracking that glass ceiling because I do hope to see my brothers and sisters that are darker than me lead these movies.”