Lin-Manuel Miranda is well aware of all of the criticism coming his way about the lack of Afro-Latino representation in his new film, In The Heights.
Since the film--which is a movie adaptation of Miranda’s 2008 Broadway musical--dropped last week, fans have taken to Twitter to voice their disappointment surrounding the cast, which some think doesn’t properly portray the actual, diverse community that lives in Washington Heights.
In response, the Lin-Manuel issued a statement on social media, apologizing to his fans and the members of his community who don’t feel represented in the movie.
“I started writing In The Heights because I didn’t feel seen,” he said in his statement on Monday, June 14. “And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us—ALL of us—to feel seen.”
He went on to acknowledge the problems some people have with the film, reiterating that some fans don’t feel seen within a film that was meant to give them a voice.
“I’m seeing the discussion around Afro-Latino representation in our film this weekend and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don’t feel sufficiently represented within it,” he continued, “particularly among the leading roles.”
Miranda then went on to apologize, admitting they “fell short” in this aspect when making the film.
“I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, or feeling still unseen in the feedback,” he continued. “I hear that without sufficient 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.”
That’s when the Hamilton creator reassured his fans that he’s “learning from the feedback” and appreciates that this conversation is taking place.
“I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening,” he said. “I’m trying to hold space for both the incredible pride for the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings. Thanks for your honest feedback.”
In the end of his statement, the actor promised that moving forward, he plans to “do better” with all of his future projects.
“Thanks for your honest feedback,” he concluded. “I promise to do better with in future projects, and I’m dedicated to learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community.”
This statement from Lin-Manuel Miranda comes after the movie became a trending topic on Twitter following an interview by The Root. Felice León spoke to director Jon M. Chu on behalf of the outlet, which is when she asked why there was a lack of Afro-Latino representation in the film.
In response, he admitted it was a subject that he “needed to be educated about.”