His latest project has been praised, but some critics accused Miranda & Co. of negating dark-skinned Afro-Latinos.
The In The Heights hype has been intense over the last few months as fans counted down the days until the musical arrived. The acclaimed film starred Anthony Ramos, who also made a stellar appearance in Hamilton, Orange is the New Black's Dascha Polanco, legendary actor Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, singer Marc Anthony, award-winning performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a slew of others as they shared a tale of life in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood.
Film critics quickly praised the production for its quality, applauding Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda for delivering a movie that breathed new life into mainstream musical theater. However, some people questioned why there was a lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latinos in roles that weren't background dancers.
Actors and activists came forward with accusations of colorism and in interviews, the In The Heights performers were grilled about the trending topic. Earlier today, Miranda returned with a letter to the public where he apologized for the lack of representation.
"I started writing In The Heights because I didn't feel seen," he said. "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 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. "I'm truly sorry. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening." He promised "to do better" in future projects.
Check out the trailer for In The Heights and read through Lin-Manuel Miranda's response in full below.