"Leave it alone": Rita Moreno sparks backlash online after defending Lin-Manuel Miranda over "In The Heights" colorism controversy

Rita Moreno is in the eye of the storm (Image via Variety)
Rita Moreno is in the eye of the storm (Image via Variety)

Rita Moreno has shown her support towards Lin-Manuel Miranda after the film "In the Heights" was criticized for its lack of Afro-Latino representation. While a few people appreciated her, others were also not happy with her comments.

The Puerto Rican actress was recently seen on the latest episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert promoting her documentary, "Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It." Rita interrupted their conversation and said she wanted to talk about the In the Heights controversy.

Rita Moreno on the In The Heights controversy

In her attempt to defend Lin-Manuel Miranda, the 89-year-old claimed that he was the man who brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. Rita added she is proud since Miranda is the producer of her upcoming documentary.

Stephen Colbert asked her to explain her point in detail, and she responded:

"Well, I'm simply saying, can't you just wait a while and leave it alone. Many people are Puertorriqueños, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark and fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico. And this is how it is, and it would be so nice if they hadn't come up with that and just left it alone, just for now. I mean, they're attacking the wrong person."

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Rita Moreno's support towards Lin-Manuel Miranda came a day after the latter apologized for the lack of representation in the 2005 movie. He said that he could hear the heart and frustration over colorism.

The 41-year-old said he understands that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community they want to represent with pride and joy. He added:

"I'm trying to paint a mosaic of this community, and we fell short. I'm truly sorry. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening (sic)."

Miranda concluded by saying that he would do better in future projects, ensuring that he is dedicated to learning and evolving.

Rita came out in support of the producer, but her comments did not sit well with the online community, who expressed disappointment with her remarks:

The American musical drama film features Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits in the lead roles. In the Heights was released in theaters on June 10th, 2021.

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