Rita Moreno has walked back comments she characterized as “dismissive” of those who critiqued the new film “In the Heights” for lacking dark-skinned Afro-Latino leads despite its Washington Heights setting.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with myself,” the Hollywood trailblazer tweeted Wednesday. “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. It is so easy to forget how celebration for some is lament for others.”

“In the Heights” was adapted from Miranda’s Tony-winning Broadway musical and stars Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace and Corey Hawkins in lead roles. It takes place in a largely Dominican neighborhood in Upper Manhattan and, despite wide regard as real progress for Latino representation, also attracted critiques of the cast’s racial makeup. A number of moviegoers and journalists, including the Root’s Felice León, pointed out that the real Washington Heights would more prominently feature dark-skinned Afro-Latinos. (Of the actors, Grace is Afro-Latina and Hawkins, the only dark-skinned Black lead, does not play a Latino character.)

“Where are the dark-skinned Black Latinx folks with a storyline?” León wrote in an article published after the film’s trailer was released. “After all, this film is placed in Washington Heights, N.Y., right?!”

The conversation continued over opening weekend, prompting Miranda to apologize Monday night. He wrote in a statement that he had heard the “hurt and frustration,” and 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.”

Moreno became the first Latina to land an Oscar in 1962, when she won best supporting actress for playing Anita in “West Side Story.” She has been open about the obstacles she long-faced working in Hollywood, which Colbert alluded to when she appeared on “The Late Show” Tuesday to promote the documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It.” During the conversation, Moreno brought up the criticism of Miranda, a friend who also produced the documentary, and said it “really upsets me.”

“You can never do right, it seems,” Moreno said. “This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t.”

After Colbert asked whether she at least understood where the critiques of “In the Heights” came from, Moreno clarified her stance: “Can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone? 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. This is how it is, and it would be so nice if they hadn’t come up with that and left it alone, just for now.”

Many expressed disappointment toward her comments, arguing that the colorism highlighted by “In the Heights” is indicative of a larger, systemic issue in Hollywood. Activist Bree Newsome tweeted that there has been “a century of movie roles being reserved for the lightest skinned Latino, Black & Asian ppl. This is not breaking new ground & there is nothing for dark skinned ppl to be waiting for.” IndieWire writer Tambay Obenson noted that Moreno’s skin was darkened for “West Side Story.”

In her response to the backlash Wednesday, Moreno stated that while applauding Miranda for his achievements, she would also be adding “my appreciation for his sensitivity and resolve to be more inclusive of the Afro-Latino community going forward.”

“See,” she wrote, “you CAN teach this old dog new tricks.”

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