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The controversy surrounding new movie musical In the Heights explained

The new musical drama has got viewers talking

Eve Crosbie

In the Heights is the new musical drama that has everyone talking. Based on a hit Broadway show of the same name, the film stars Hamilton and A Star is Born actor Anthony Ramos, Brooklyn 99's Stephanie Beatriz and Vida actress Melissa Barrera and focuses on the predominantly Dominican inhabitants of the Washington Heights neighbourhood in New York City.

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However, the film has been the subject of some criticism, namely for not going far enough in the diversity of its cast. 

Since its release in the US earlier this month, movie-goers have been taking to Twitter to express their frustration over the film's lack of dark-skinned Latino actors.

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WATCH: Have you watched In the Heights?

As one viewer wrote: "I lived in Washington Heights for five years. You can't take a step in Washington Heights without seeing dark skinned Black-Latin people. #InTheHeights erases them from the neighborhood. This 'light skinned Latinx only' story is very disappointing." 

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Another echoed this, tweeting: "As a dark-skinned Black woman I've experienced colourism first hand - I know what it looks and feels like! So let me say, as much I enjoyed In The Heights, I'm not content with seeing Black Latinxs folks relegated to dancers and extras." Someone else called the film "embarrassing" in its failure to properly represent the reality of the Washington Heights community.

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Writer Lin-Manuel has apologised for the film's lack of Afro-Latino representation

Lin-Manuel Miranda has since issued an apology for not employing more actors of Afro-Latino backgrounds, acknowledging that the film "fell short". The Hamilton creator, who is of Puerto-Rican descent and also appears in the movie, said in a statement posted to Twitter: "I started writing In the Heights because I didn't feel seen. And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us - ALL of us - to feel seen.

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"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 among the leading roles."

He added that he could "hear the hurt and frustration over colourism" and concluded his post with a promise to do better in future projects. "I'm dedicated to the learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community," he concluded.

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