Lin-Manuel Miranda Responds to Colorism Criticism of ‘In the Heights’

Lin-Manuel Miranda is candidly responding to criticism of his new film, In the Heights. The Hamilton creator and celebrated playwright took to social media to address claims and critiques of colorism in regards to the film’s cast.

The film, which takes place in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, has been touted as a celebration of the Latinx community. Star Anthony Ramos recently equated it to “Black Panther or Crazy Rich Asians,” in how it is supposed to represent people and culture who have long been absent from major Hollywood films.

However, after its release, several film critics raised concerns regarding a lack of representation for the neighborhood’s Afro-Latino population. Miranda — who produced and appears in the film and co-wrote the play the film is adapted from — took to Twitter on Monday to reflect and apologize.

“I started writing In the Heights because I didn’t feel seen,” Miranda wrote. “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,” he continued. “I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling 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,” he added. “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry.”

Miranda said he is “learning from the feedback” and thanked those making their disappointment heard for raising their concerns. He assured critics, “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,” he concluded. “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.”

For more onIn the Heights, see the video below.

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