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Rita Moreno apologizes for ‘dismissive’ remarks about ‘In the Heights’ casting

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Actress Rita Moreno apologized Wednesday evening for making “dismissive remarks” about Afro Latino casting in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.”

Moreno said on Twitter that she is sorry for remarks she made during an interview on “The Late Show” Tuesday night, defending Miranda amid criticism that the movie lacks sufficient representation of dark-skinned Afro Latino people.

Moreno said she was “incredibly disappointed” with herself over the remarks.

“While making a statement in defense of Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Colbert Show last night, I was clearly dismissive of black lives that matter in our Latin community,” she tweeted.

“In addition to applauding Lin for his wonderful movie version of In The Heights, let me add my appreciation for his sensitivity and resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward,” she continued. “See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks.”

During her appearance on “The Late Show”, Moreno said that criticism targeting Miranda, who had apologized over the diversity issues in “In the Heights,” really upset her.

“You can never do right, it seems,” Moreno said. “This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I mean, I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t. Lin-Manuel has done that, really singlehandedly, and I’m thrilled to pieces.”

When Colbert asked if she meant that people’s concerns about the film are misplaced, Moreno said, “Can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?”

“There’s a lot of people who are Puertorriqueños, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico,” she said. “It would be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and just left it alone, just for now. I mean, they’re really attacking the wrong person.”

Miranda had said in his apology that “it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don’t feel sufficiently represented” in the new film, “particularly among the leading roles.”

Tags diversity in hollywood In the Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda representation in media Rita Moreno
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