The Radio Times logo

Lin-Manuel Miranda apologises for In the Heights' lack of diversity – colourism controversy explained

The In the Heights creator has taken to Twitter to address the film's colourism controversy.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Published: Wednesday, 16th June 2021 at 3:36 pm

In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologised for the film's failure to represent the whole Afro-Latino community after fans criticised the lack of diversity in the musical adaptation.


The Hamilton star took to social media to address the feedback, apologising for "the hurt and frustration over colourism".

"I started writing In The Heights because I didn't feel seen. And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us – ALL of us – to feel seen.

"I'm seeing the discussion around Afro-Latino representation in our film this weekend nad it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don't feel sufficiently represented within it, particularly among the leading roles."

"I can hear the hurt and frustration over colourism, of feeling 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."

He added that he's learning from the feedback and trying to "hold space for both the incredible pride in the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings".

The film, directed by Crazy Rich Asians' Jon M. Chu, is based on Miranda's 2005 musical drama of the same name and stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi de la Vega, a bodega owner in the Washington Heights neighbourhood of New York City's Manhattan.

Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno, whose new documentary is executive produced by Miranda, defended the Hamilton star whilst appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, saying: "You can never do right it seems."

In the Heights
In the Heights WB

"This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America," she added. "Lin-Manuel has done that really singlehandedly.


"I'm simply saying, can't you just wait a while and leave it alone? We are all colours in Puerto Rico. 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."

More like this
In the Heights is released in UK cinemas on Friday 18th June 2021. Visit our Movies hub for all the latest news. Looking for something to watch tonight? Check out our TV Guide.

Sponsored content