Lin-Manuel Miranda is joining director Jon Chu in extending his apologies to Afro-Latino theater fans who felt they weren’t represented in his most recent stage to film hit, The Heights.
“I’m seeing the discussion around Afro-Latinx representation in our film this weekend and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latinx community don’t feel sufficiently represented within it, particularly among the leading roles,” writes the 3x Tony-winning Broadway musical architect.
“I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latinx representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy,” he continued.
The sentiment echo’s that of Chu who spoke with The Root last week, saying “I hear you on trying to fill those cast members with darker skin. I think that’s a really good conversation to have and something we should all be talking about.”
Chu, and Melissa Barrera pointed to the big numbers in the movie which included Black and Afro Latinx dancers, however, critics have pushed back, arguing those actors have historically been relegated to background roles. Which is very true.
I truly believe LMM is a good and decent man who is really just trying to do his best to represent the previously unrepresented. He just hasn’t found a way to represent them all in one production. He’ll get there.