Rita Moreno Apologizes for Colorism Defense: ‘I Was Clearly Dismissive of Black Lives’

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Rita Moreno has apologized for remarks she made defending the allegations of colorism in the Lin-Manuel Miranda movie, “In the Heights.”

Boricua actor Rita Moreno visited Stephen Colbert’s talk show where she addressed the backlash. The movie has no dark-skinned leads, despite being based in the heart of New York.

“That really upsets me,” Moreno said during an appearance on “The Late Show.”

“He also co-produced my documentary. It’s like you can never do right, it seems. This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I mean, I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t. Lin-Manuel has done that, really, single-handedly, and I’m thrilled to pieces, and I’m proud that he produced my documentary [2021’s Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It],” she said.

When Colbert asked whether she understood people’s concerns, she responded: “I’m simply saying, why can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?” she continued. “There’s a lot of people who are puertorriqueño, who are also from Guatemala, who are dark, and who are also fair. We are all colors in Puerto Rico. And this is how it is. It would be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and left it alone, just for now. I mean, they’re really attacking the wrong person.”

Her attempt to appease the critics backfired and Moreno was called out for her ignorance.

The actress issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying she is “incredibly disappointed” with herself for her “dismissive” remarks.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with myself. While making a statement in defense of Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Colbert Show last night, I was clearly dismissive of Black lives that matter in our Latin community,” she said.

“It is so easy to forget how celebration for some is lament for others. In addition to applauding Lin for his wonderful movie version of In the Heights, let me add my appreciation for his sensitivity and resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward. See, you CAN teach this old dog new tricks.”

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