Rita Moreno Defends Lin-Manuel Miranda Amid 'In The Heights' Criticism

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Rita Moreno doesn't think that the recent criticism of her friend, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is deserved. Miranda recently released the film adaptation of his hit Broadway musical, In The Heights, which received some claims and critiques of colorism. 

"It would be so nice if they hadn't come up with that and left it alone, just for now," Moreno told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday's The Late Show. "They're really attacking the wrong person." 

In the Heights takes place in the New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights and has been touted as a celebration of the Latinx community. Following the movie's release, critics raised concerns regarding the lack of representation for the neighborhood's dark-skinned Afro-Latinx population in major roles. 

Miranda, director Jon M. Chu and several actors have publicly addressed the claims. In a statement released earlier this week, Miranda said, "In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I'm truly sorry."

Moreno, however, doesn't feel that the award-winning writer, producer, and performer is to blame. 

"It's like you can never do right, it seems," she said of Miranda, who also co-produced her recent documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It. "This is the man who has literally 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. Lin-Manuel has done that really single-handedly, and I'm thrilled to pieces and I'm proud that he produced my documentary." 

Moreno recently spoke to ET about "all the tribulations, all the troubles" she faced while coming up in Hollywood. "I wanted to share that with all of the awards I have ...it was never never handed to me."

Watch ET's exclusive interview below.

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