Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized for the absence of Afro-Latino actors in the lead role of his new movie “In The Heights.”
The film is originally remade from Miranda’s 2005 stage show which had the same name. It was set up in the Washington Heights neighborhood which is a mostly Latino neighborhood in New York City.
The film was highly acclaimed by film critics, but was criticised for the absence of Afro-Latino actors in lead roles.
What Did Lin-Manuel Miranda Say?
Miranda said in a tweet that the film “fell short”
Miranda is of Puerto Rican descent and was working as the film’s producer himself had played a role in the film. However, he apologized on Twitter for failing to hire more actors of the African and Latin American descent.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Beginning Of Controversy
The apology came after an interview with a journalist Feliz Leon who is a self-proclaimed “blacktina”. The interview she conducted was with the film’s director, John M. Chu, and also included the actors Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, and The Diazafluoren.
In the interview on Leon’s shown called “The Root,” she discussed the fact that most of the actors in the film were white and light skinned. This was the beginning of the snow-ball effect.
“What would you say to folks who say that In the Heights privileges white-passing and light-skinned Latinx people?” she asked.
Chu responded: “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.
Social media users have also criticized the lack of dark-skinned Latin-American characters in the movie.