Lin-Manuel Miranda broke his silence on the backlash the movie adaptation of his 2008 Broadway musical, In The Heights, received.
A conversation about the exclusion of Afro-Latinx representation spread like wildfire on Twitter following a virtual press junket with the director and some cast members.
The Root‘s Felice Leon cornered director, Jon M. Chu, who was previously accused of the whitewashing of Crazy Rich Asians, about the lack of Afro-Latinx representation.
“In the end, when we were looking at the cast, we tried to get people who were best for those roles,” he responded. “But I hear you on trying to fill those cast members with darker skin. I think that’s a really good conversation to have, something that we should all be talking about.”
After people expressed their disappointment, Lin-Manuel issued an apology.
“I started writing In the Heights because I didn’t feel seen,” the Hamilton creator began his statement on Monday, June 14. “And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us—ALL of us—to feel seen.”
Although he noted his good intentions, the 41-year-old acknowledged where he “fell short.”
“I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, or feeling still unseen in the feedback,” he continued. “I hear that without sufficient 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 reassured fans that he’s “learning from the feedback” In The Heights got.
He explained, “I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening. I’m trying to hold space for both the incredible pride for the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings. Thanks for your honest feedback.”
The playwright and actor promised to “do better” with future projects. “I’m dedicated to learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community,” he concluded.