TV/Film

Lin-Manuel Miranda Addresses 'In the Heights' Colorism Criticism: 'We Fell Short'

The musical-turned-movie has been criticized for sidelining the Afro-Latino presence in the real Washington Heights.

Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical In the Heights has been promoted as a long-overdue corrective to the underrepresentation of Latinos in Hollywood, yet during the film’s opening weekend, discussion trended online over the movie’s failure to accurately represent its namesake neighborhood’s Afro-Latino population.

On Monday afternoon (June 14), Miranda responded to the criticism. “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,” he wrote in a message posted to Twitter. “I’m learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening.”

Read Miranda’s full message below.

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 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.

In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short.

I’m truly sorry.

I’m learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening.

I’m trying to hold space for both the incredible pride in the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings.

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.

Siempre, LMM

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.