Rita Moreno says she's 'disappointed' with herself for In the Heights remarks
Rita Moreno is not one to back down, but she does know when to apologize.
The Oscar winner shared a statement on Twitter on Wednesday evening, addressing remarks she had made about Lin-Manuel Miranda and In the Heights the night before while appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
"I'm incredibly disappointed with myself," she wrote. "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. It is so easy to forget how celebration for some is lament for others."
"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 added. "See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks."
When speaking about the recent criticism In the Heights has faced for lack of Afro-Latino representation on Colbert's show, Moreno defended Miranda, saying, "You can never do right, it seems. This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puetro Rican-ness to America. I couldn't do it. I would love to say I did, but I couldn't. Lin-Manuel has done that really singlehandedly."
She added, "I'm simply saying, can't you just wait a while and leave it alone? There's a lot of people who are puertorriqueño, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark, and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico. This is how it is and it would be so nice if they hadn't come up with that and left it alone, for now. They're really attacking the wrong person."
The film's director, Jon M. Chu, was asked about Black Latinx representation in the movie in a recent interview with The Root. While he admitted it was something "he needed to be educated about," Chu said that "in the end, when we were looking at the cast, we tried to get the people who were best for those roles."
Miranda - the musical's creator, composer, and original star- offered an apology for the issue on Monday, writing, "I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still 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 wanting to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short."
Moreno and Miranda have collaborated several times, but most recently, Miranda served as a producer on Moreno's documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, which just premiered at the Tribeca Festival.
- Rita Moreno defends Lin-Manuel Miranda amid In the Heights colorism controversy: 'You can never do right, it seems'
- Lin-Manuel Miranda 'truly sorry' amid criticism about In the Heights lack of Afro-Latino representation
- In the Heights star Anthony Ramos was told to be 'ethnically ambiguous' early in career