Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologised for the lack of Afro-Latino actors in In The Heights.
Addressing a recent interview with The Root journalist Felice León, in which León asked director Jon M. Chu about how dark-skinned Latino actors only appeared in background scenes, Miranda acknowledged the film “fell short”.
“I started writing In the Heights because I didn’t feel seen,” Miranda began in a statement on Twitter. “And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us – ALL of us – to feel seen.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 14, 2021
“I’m seeing the discussion around Afro-Latino representation in our film this weekend and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don’t feel sufficiently represented within it, particularly among the leading roles.”
He went on: “I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback. 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.”
Watch the original video interview here:
DAMN DAMN DAMN THIS IS PAINFUL pic.twitter.com/A4TOwYwHlb
— numa perrier (@missnuma) June 13, 2021
“In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short,” Miranda continued. “I’m truly sorry. I’m learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening.”
In a four-star review of In The Heights, NME called the film “a film that blends melody, energy and spectacle into an enormously enjoyable package.”
The film will be released in UK cinemas this Friday (June 18). It is available to watch in the US now.