Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized for not insisting on more Afro-Latino or dark-skinned actors in the movie adaptation of his 2008 Broadway musical hit 'In the Heights.'
In the Heights debuted on streaming site HBO Max and in theaters on Friday, June 11, but didn't have the blockbuster opening weekend that many had predicted.
In the Heights was expected to break box office records for a musical with opening weekend estimates of $25 million to $35 million.
However the woke musical was a crushing disappointment, coming in 2nd behind 'A Quiet Place 2' with just $11 million in box office receipts.
In the Heights carried a production budget of $55 million. $110 million gross is required to break even.
Some viewers criticized director Jon M. Chu and Miranda, who has a small part in the film, for being colorists.
Chu, who faced similar criticism for his film 'Crazy Rich Asians,' addressed the controversy by stating the 'colorism' debate was "a fair conversation to have".
Chu told The Root, "Listen, we're not going to get everything right in a movie. We tried our best on all fronts of it."
DAMN DAMN DAMN THIS IS PAINFUL pic.twitter.com/A4TOwYwHlb
— numa perrier (@missnuma) June 13, 2021
Miranda took to Twitter to address the "whitewashing" allegations with his followers on Monday.
"I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening."
Mexican actress Melissa Barrera, who plays Vanessa in the film, said the producers were looking for actors who fit the white Hispanic residents of the Washington Heights neighborhood.
"In the audition process, which was a long audition process, there were a lot of Afro-Latinos there. A lot of darker skinned people. And I think they were looking for just the right people for the roles. For the person that embodied each character in the fullest extent."
Barrera, best known for her role as Lyn in the Starz LGBT+ series Vida, added:
"Because the cast ended up being us, and because Washington Heights is a melting pot of black and Latinx people, Jon and Lin wanted the dancers and the big numbers to feel very truthful to what the community looks like."
In the Heights was delayed for a year due to the Covid outbreak.
Watch the movie trailer below.