Hollywood veteran Rita Moreno says she is “disappointed” in herself for defending Lin-Manuel Miranda against criticism over the colorism in the film adaptation of his Tony-winning musical, “In the Heights.”
We previously reported… on Monday, Miranda took to Twitter to address the backlash of the film’s casting. In particular, it’s been noted that only light-skinned actors were cast in the roles of the musical’s main Latinx characters.
“I hear that, without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the world feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy,” Miranda replied to the backlash. “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry.” You can check out his full statement here.
Moreno initially pushed back against critics of the film’s creators for its lack of Afro-Latinx representation in major roles.
“You can never do right, it seems,” Moreno said in a Tuesday interview with “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. “This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t. Lin-Manuel has done that really singlehandedly and I’m thrilled to pieces, and I’m proud that he produced my documentary [Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It].”
When asked by Colbert if she understood “where people’s concerns come from” the actress replied, “I’m simply saying, ‘Can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?’ ”
“There’s a lot of people who are Puertorriqueño, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico,” Moreno said. “This is how it is, and it would be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and left it alone, just for now. I mean, they’re really attacking the wrong person.”
On Wednesday, she issued a statement on Twitter saying she was “disappointed” in herself for the comments she made on Colbert’s show.
“I’m incredibly disappointed with myself. While making a statement in defense of Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Colbert Show last night, I was clearly dismissive of Black lives that matter in our Latin community,” Moreno said. “It is so easy to forget how celebration for some is lament for others.”
“In addition to applauding Lin for his wonderful movie version of In The Heights, let me add my appreciation for his sensitivity and resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward,” the Oscar winner continued.
Moreno concluded her statement, “See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks – RITA.”
“In The Heights,” which had a disappointing debut at the box office this past weekend, is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
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