Actress Rita Moreno is defending Lin-Manuel Miranda after he received criticism over his In The Heights movie and the lack of Afro-Latino representation. Moreno appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote her documentary Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It when she brought up the In The Heights controversy.
“Can we talk for a second about that criticism about Lin-Manuel? That really upsets me,” she said during the segment. “You can never do right, it seems,” Moreno says. “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 defends Lin-Manuel Miranda after ‘In The Heights’ backlash
Colbert follows up by asking, “So are you saying that while you may understand where people’s concerns come from, that perhaps it’s misplaced in criticizing him in this?”
“Well I’m simply saying, can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?” Moreno responds. “There’s a lot of people who are Puertorriqueños, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico. And this is how it is, and it would be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and just left it alone, just for now. I mean, they’re really attacking the wrong person.”
Miranda recently issued an apology following the criticism, apologizing for the lack of representation in the film, stating that he “fell short.” He continues, “I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback. 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. I’m learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening.”
Watch the full clip from the segment below:
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 16, 2021