Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and creator of the Broadway #1 Hit Musical “Hamilton” has issued an apology regarding his most recent, and now apparently controversial, HBO Hit Musical: “In The Heights”
Critics are enraged Lin-Manuel Miranda did not have a “Black Latinx” main character. The director of the movie, Jon M. Chu, also the director of the Hit Blockbuster Film “Crazy Rich Asians”, defended the cast, stating they “chose the best people for the roles.”
This sparked internet controversy resulting in the creator ultimately issuing an apology (for making another Hit Musical and not a documentary). Even the musical’s cast gave their support, essentially suggesting somebody else should have played their own, or their cast member’s role. Liberal media agenda and the justice warriors demanded this musical—and all future ones—follow the same format as if they were a documentary.
Felice León of The Root, stated that despite the fact that she had never made a Broadway musical, or an HBO film, she could have done better.
After only one sentence, Felice proceeded to change the interview into a new topic—racial accusation, diverging completely from any significance the musical-made-for-HBO may have held.
Here is a direct transcript:
Felice León: “Congratulations on “In the Heights”, it was a lovely musical. But as a Black woman of Cuban descent, specifically from New York City, it would be remiss of me, not to acknowledge the fact that most of your principal actors were light-skinned or white-passing Latinx.”
Felice León: “So with that what are your thoughts on the lack of Black Latinx people represented in your film?”
Jon M. Chu: “Yeah…I mean I think that that was something we talked about and I needed to be educated about, of course. In the end, when we were looking at the cast, we tried to get people who were best for those roles, and that specifically, and we saw a lot of people like Daphne or Dasha, but I hear you on, you know, those cast members with darker skin. I think that’s a really good conversation to have. Something that we should all be talking about”
Leslie Grace: I didn’t realize until making this movie that I, I didn’t really get to see myself or people that look like my siblings that are darker than me on screen. And I didn’t realize how much that affected the limitations that I put on myself, being someone who wanted to be an artist and be an actress. And you know, even being in the Latin music industry, being Afro Latina, I feel so blessed that we get to express the diversity that is within the Latinx community in a way that we haven’t been able to see on screen, because so many times were put on screen in one particular way. And since we get so little opportunities, everyone wants to claim that once one story because it’s all we got.
Melissa Berarra: I think it’s important to to note, though, that in the audition process, which was a long audition process, there were a lot of Afro Latinos there, a lot of darker skinned people. And I think they were looking for just the right people for the roles for the person that embodied the each character in in the fullest extent. And I think we are all very much like our characters, so much. So that align a lot of times it didn’t even feel like we were acting, it just kind of they just kind of let us live in there. And because the cast ended up being us, and Washington Heights is a melting pot of black and Latinx people. Jon and Lynn wanted the dancers and the big numbers to feel very truthful to what the community looks like”
Jon M. Chu: Did you not see that in the dancers as well?
Felice Leon: Those are roles that historically we’ve been able to fill, right? We’ve been able to be the dancers, and we’ve been able to be in the hair salons and you know this and that but like a lead you know that’s that’s, that’s the breakthrough. We want to see Black people in the heights. We want to see Afro Panamanians, Black Cubans, Black Dominicans, you know, that’s what you want to see. And that’s what you know, we were yearning for and hoping for.
Jon M. Chu: I hope that at least, that encourages more people to tell more stories and get out there and do it right then
Felice Leon: There is a long history of Colorism and Pigmentocracy in Latin America. And with that, what would you say to folks who say that in the heights, privileges white passing and light skinned Latinos people?
Jon M. Chu: I would say that that’s a fair conversation to have. I mean, I listen, we’re not going to get everything right—in, in a movie. We tried our best on all fronts of it. I do think there’s something to be said about sharing and experiences and me never trying to say I knew, I know what I’m doing. But to just give room to everybody to speak up about what we’re doing at that moment”
Leslie Grace: “And I’ll just add like this—I hope that this is cracking that glass ceiling because I do hope to see my brothers and sisters that are darker than me lead these movies.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musicals creator shared his apology via Twitter:
Instead of celebrating his completion of a musical that has and will bring millions of American family’s together in both theatres and now homes, Lin-Manuel Miranda is apologizing. “The woke mob” loves to pick everything apart and always tries to connect it to racism. In reality, connecting every instance of life to racism, is not only contributing to segregation, but racist itself