Why Is Rita Moreno Disappointed In Herself For Supporting Lin-Manuel Miranda?

Though "Hamilton" superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda seems like he can do no wrong, the entertainment industry polymath is seemingly as fallible as the rest of us, as has been made evident by the growing controversy over the film adaptation of the Broadway musical that made him famous, "In the Heights." While critics have praised "In the Heights" for its authentic portrayal of Latinidad on-screen, others have expressed dismay over colorism within its cast over the lack of Afro-Latinx representation

As CBS News noted in its coverage of the controversy, Miranda has since apologized publicly over the matter in an official statement on June 14. "I'm seeing the discussion around Afro Latino representation in our film this weekend and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro Latino community don't feel sufficiently represented within it, particularly the leading roles," read Miranda's statement. "I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback."

But, while Miranda's apology would have otherwise quelled the growing discontent over the film's casting choices, another prominent award-winning actor and Latinx icon added fuel to the fire without entirely knowing it: "West Side Story" and "One Day at a Time" star Rita Moreno. But now, following the wake of the controversy, it seems like she has changed her tune. Keep on reading to find out more. 

Rita Moreno apologized to her fans

As People reported in June, Rita Moreno addressed comments she had made in support of Lin-Manuel Miranda only two days prior regarding the colorism controversy in the film adaptation of his 2005 Broadway musical "In the Heights" has received following its release. At the time, Moreno, who herself rose to fame in the 1961 movie-musical version of Stephen Sondheim's "West Side Story" (and subsequently became the first Latinx woman to achieve the coveted E.G.O.T.) spoke out against Miranda's detractors.

During an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Moreno, 91, expressed exasperation over the backlash. "You can never do right, it seems," Moreno began before praising Miranda for bringing "Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America." She then proceeded to call the criticism lobbed against Miranda "misplaced" before directing her conclusion towards those who criticized the lack of Afro-Latinx representation in the movie: "I'm simply saying, 'Can't you just wait a while and leave it alone?'"

Following a litany of criticism for her remarks on "Colbert," Moreno responded days later after a period of reflection. In a series of tweets posted on her social media account, Moreno expressed remorse. "I'm incredibly disappointed with myself," Moreno wrote. "I was clearly dismissive of Black lives that matter in our Latin community," she stated, adding, "It is so easy to forget how celebration for some is lament for others." She then promised to "resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward."