What did Rita Moreno say about the 'In The Heights' criticism?

LIN-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights has received a ton of mixed criticism since it debuted on the big screen.

The actor has apologized for racial misrepresentation in the musical-turned-movie.

What did Rita Moreno say about the In The Heights' criticism?

Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno defended Lin-Manuel Miranda amid the controversy regarding misrepresentation in his latest film, In The Heights.

Moreno spoke out on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert against the criticism Miranda is facing, saying it “really upsets her.”

“It’s like you can never do right, it seems,” she said.

“This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I mean, I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t,” Moreno continued.

“Lin-Manuel has done that, really single-handedly, and I’m thrilled to pieces, and I’m proud that he produced my documentary.”

The Broadway star is referring to her new documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It that Miranda helped her work on.

Moreno told Colbert that they are “attacking the wrong person” adding: “I’m simply saying, can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?” 

“There’s a lot of people who are puertorriqueño, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico.”

“And it would just be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and left that alone, just for now. They’re really attacking the wrong person.”

What did Lin-Manuel Miranda say about In The Heights?

Lin-Manuel Miranda apologized after fans criticized the film's lack of Afro-Latinx representation in the cast.

Audiences noted that only light-skinned characters were cast in main roles.

Miranda apologized, writing: "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. 

Adding: “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I'm truly sorry."

"I started writing In The Heights because I didn't feel seen. And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us – ALL of us – to feel seen.

"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. 

“I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling unseen in the feedback.

"Thank you 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. Siempre, LMM."

The film mostly includes Afro-Latinx performers in background and dance roles. 

One main character, Benny, is Black and played by the non-Latinx actor Corey Hawkins.

What did people say about In The Heights?

Social media erupted with comments slamming Miranda over the racial misrepresentation.

One user tweeted at the actor after apologized, writing: “A graceful apology, but I wish the burden of representing the entire Latinx community wasn’t on one movie or on you.  

“There should be so many films representing so many experiences.  Hundreds of stories, if you will.”

Another wrote: “But he wasn't inclusive for the Afro-Latinos that actually lived in the Washington Heights . clearly you have never been to the neighborhood. It's a missed opportunity on his part.”

However, some defended his work and thanked him for turning the musical into a movie, writing: “I saw this twice, and I was blown away by the many types of people represented in a movie of this magnitude.. It's a shame to me that people cannot let art be art. 

“There will always be those who won't ever be satisfied. And for this I feel bad for them.”

Another user chimed in, writing: “It isn’t your responsibility to represent the entire latino world. 

“This story and movie was obviously personal and inspired by your experiences in Washington Heights.

“I saw the flag of most, if not all, Caribbean nations. Sad when communities eat their own. Great movie.”

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