Miranda is facing criticism that his film "In the Heights" lacks authentic Afro-Latino representation, for which he has apologized.
Rita Moreno is taking stock of the comments she made on "The Late Show" Tuesday night, walking back her defense of Lin-Manuel Miranda and his musical film, "In the Heights."
Saying that she is "incredibly disappointed" in herself, Moreno tweeted, "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," she continued.
She added praise for Miranda's own validation of the criticism that his film did not accurately represent the Afro-Latino community in the Washington Heights neighborhood it celebrates.
"Let me add my appreciation for his sensitivity and resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward," she wrote. "See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks."
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. See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks - RITA
The criticism centered around the film's lack of Afro-Latino stars in its lead roles, which instead featured mostly lighter-skinned Latino actors. This despite the actual community having a much larger Afro-Latino representation than the film presented. Darker-skinned performers appeared largely relegated to dancing roles in the background.
"In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short," Miranda conceded in a tweet on Monday. "I’m truly sorry."
Miranda explained that he wrote "In the Heights" because he didn't feel seen, and that it's been his goal for the past two decades "for us -- ALL of us -- to feel seen." And so, the feedback that this casting still left some feeling unseen resonated with him.
"I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening," he wrote. He then promised to do better in the future, writing, "I'm dedicated to the learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community."
In her appearance on "The Late Show" Tuesday night, Moreno quickly jumped to Miranda's defense. "You can never do right, it seems," she lamented. "I'm simply saying, can't you just wait a while and leave it alone?"
She praised Miranda for "single-handedly" bringing "Latino-nexx and Peurto Rican-ness to America." "I couldn’t do it, I mean, I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t," she said. "Lin-Manuel has done that."