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‘West Side Story’ Star Flares ‘In The Heights’ Controversy

West Side Story Star Comments on In The Heights Controversy
20th Century Fox, Warner Bros.

Rita Moreno defended Lin-Manuel Miranda against the criticism surrounding his newest film. The Hamilton star has been accused of colorism after the “In The Heights” controversy surrounding its lack of Afro-Latino representation.

While the musical features a cast of Latino characters, some fans on Twitter condemned “In The Heights” for not accurately representing the darker side of the spectrum. Since the film is based in the real-world location of Washington Heights, many found that exclusion inaccurate.

Consequently, friend of Miranda and “West Side Story” star Rita Moreno gave her opinion on the matter. In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Moreno pointed out all that Miranda has done for diversity in entertainment.

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Rita Moreno is no stranger to backlash. As Anita in the original “West Side Story,” Moreno wore makeup that darkened her skin tone. Therefore, many fans feel that she is at best a controversial figure when discussing Latino representation.

The newest “West Side Story” is also no stranger to backlash. Recently, many viewers have pointed out the harassment accusations thrown against Ansel Elgort, one of the film’s leads. Thus, it seems like the “West Side Story” remake is off to a problematic start.

In the meantime, Miranda has publicly apologized for the oversight. However, it is important to note that he likely didn’t have much to do with the casting process. If his past projects are any indication, Miranda has always strived for leading representation in the musical scene. That being said, you can read his full apology below.

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“In The Heights” is currently in theaters and on HBO Max. The “West Side Story” remake will be premiering in theaters on December 10th.