(Ellise Shafer’s article appeared in Variety, 6/15; Photo: Samantha Okazaki.)
Rita Moreno is defending Lin-Manuel Miranda and “In the Heights” following criticism over the film’s lack of Afro-Latino representation.
On tonight’s episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Moreno appeared to promote her documentary, “Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” and later brought up the “In the Heights” controversy.
“Can we talk for a second about that criticism about Lin-Manuel? That really upsets me,” Moreno said to Colbert.
Moreno is referring to criticism regarding the lack of dark-skinned Afro-Latinos in the film’s cast, particularly in leading roles. Online discussion on the topic over the weekend stemmed from a video article in The Root, published on Wednesday. In an interview with “In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu and stars Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera and Gregory Diaz IV, journalist Felice León questioned the film’s casting decisions. “What would you say to folks who say that ‘In the Heights’ privileges white-passing and light-skinned Latinx people?” León asked, to which Chu replied: “I would say that’s a fair conversation to have. Listen, we’re not going to get everything right in a movie. We tried our best on all fronts of it.”