Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologised after fans called him out over the lack of diversity in his new movie, In the Heights.
The actor-producer issued a statement Monday apologising for the lack of Afro-Latino representation in the film adaptation, saying, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 14, 2021
In the Heights director Jon M. Chu also spoke about this when he was asked in an interview with The Root about the film’s cast, which is nearly entirely light-skinned and white-passing Latina people. He admitted that it’s a “fair conversation,” but stood by their decisions, saying they got “the best people who were best for those roles specifically.”
Actress Leslie Grace was the only Afro-Latina with a significant speaking role in the film. She spoke about the general issue of underrepresentation in Hollywood. “I didn’t realize until making this movie that I didn’t really get to see myself or people that looked like my siblings, that are darker than me, on screen,” Grace said.