spoke out this week in the midst of a wave of criticism directed at "In the Heights
," admitting that the film "fell short" in terms of diverse casting.
“In the Heights,” based on Miranda’s 2008 Broadway
musical, premiered last week in theaters and on HBO Max
to critical acclaim, starring Anthony Ramos
, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace as members of a Caribbean diaspora community pursuing their dream of a better life.
However, some critics pointed out that the film's main cast was made up of light-skinned and white-passing actors
, resulting in a less-than-accurate depiction of New York City
Heights neighborhood, where the action takes place.
Miranda responded to the criticisms with a lengthy apology
on Monday, saying he'd heard "the hurt and frustration" the film had caused from members of the community it aimed to represent.
“In attempting to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short,” he wrote, “for which I am deeply sorry; I am learning from the feedback, thank you for raising it, and I am listening.”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 14, 2021 pic.twitter.com/CHfdLgFUz3
Miranda's remarks came after a widely panned interview
in which "In the Heights" director Jon M. Chu
addressed the accusations of colorism.
“I think that was something we talked about, and I needed to be educated about, of course,” he told The Root’s Felice León, adding that he hoped “In the Heights” would inspire “more people
to tell more stories and get out there and do it right then.”
Later, he acquiesced somewhat after pointing to darker-skinned dancers in the film's ensemble numbers.
“We're not going to get everything right in a film,” he admitted.
Chu's previous film, "Crazy Rich Asians
," which he also directed, was a box-office success but drew criticism for its focus on East Asian characters.
In response to the “Crazy Rich Asians” controversy, he told Insider this month, “That’s a lesson that I didn’t understand until it happened. I was like, this is a book
that exists, and I’m making this book into a movie. I can’t add a new character into this book.”
“Listen, we need more movies
, and you need more filmmakers, so it doesn’t all depend on one movie,” he added.