Rita Moreno defends Lin-Manuel Miranda over ‘In the Heights’ colorism controversy


The actress appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night and spoke about the controversy surrounding Miranda’s new movie “In the Heights,” in which he has been criticized for featuring dark-skinned Afro-Latinos in background and dance scenes but not in main roles.

“It’s like 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 single-handedly, and I’m thrilled to pieces, and I’m proud that he produced my documentary.”

    Her new documentary is called, “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It.”

      Moreno went on to add, “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.”

        “In the Heights,” a musical about a vibrant and diverse Latinx community in New York City, was released in theaters earlier this month.

          Manuel recently responded to the criticism on social media by writing in part, “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry.”

            “In the Heights” is distributed by Warner Bros., which like CNN is part of WarnerMedia.