While In The Heights was warmly received during its first opening weekend, the stage-to-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical has sparked a controversy that its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has tackled head on. At issue is a notable lack of Afro-Latino representation in In The Heights that caused a social media uproar following director John M. Chu’s interview with The Root where he admitted he needed to be educated more on the subject. In essence, the film predominantly featured light-skinned Latinos in lead roles while darker-skinned Afro-Latinos were mostly in the background if they were present at all.
For his part, Miranda agrees that the In The Heights adaptation failed to be fully inclusive, and he issued a lengthy apology on Monday where he let the Afro-Latino community know that he heard their concerns.
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.
While acknowledging that he’s trying to be both proud of In The Heights and aware of its shortcomings, Miranda promised to do better in his future projects.
You can see his full statement below: