'In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short:' Lin-Manuel Miranda apologizes for lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latino portrayal in 'In the Heights'

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It's impossible to not tap your feet to the infectious beats of "In the Heights." Macall Polay/Warner Bros.
  • "In The Heights" has received criticism for a lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latino leads.

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda apologized for the colorism and said he would work for better representation.

  • "In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short," Miranda said.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda apologized for the lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latinos featured in "In The Heights" after criticism that the film primarily features light-skinned Latinx leads.

"In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short," Miranda said in a statement. "I'm truly sorry."

The musical about a Latinx community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan was released last week and has faced criticism that dark-skinned Afro-Latinos were mainly featured in background and dance scenes.

In response to the criticism, director Jon M. Chu said they tried to cast "the people who were best for those roles."

Carmen Phillips, editor-in-chief of Autostraddle, a news and entertainment website for LGBTQ women, said there was "a CLEAR casting choice not to cast any dark skinned Afro-Latinxs that should be discussed," in a tweet.

In his statement, Miranda said he understood how the casting choice could have undermined the representation of the community.

"I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback," he said. "I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted to represent with pride and joy."

Miranda said he promised to do better in the future.

"I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I am listening," he said.

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