Lin-Manuel Miranda recently posted a statement online apologizing for criticism over the diversity of the In the Heights cast, and Bill Maher isn't having it. Last week, Miranda came under fire on Twitter with some taking the Broadway star to task for the movie's "lack of diversity." While the movie does feature an all-Latino cast, there was a certain level of backlash over the main cast members not properly representing the Afro-Latino community.
Due to the accusations of colorism, Miranda said he was "truly sorry" in a letter posted to social media. Actress Rita Moreno also came to the defense of Miranda, saying that the critics were "attacking the wrong person," though she would end up offering her own apology when this was met with complaints. While many on Twitter were demanding the apology, others say this is a case of "cancel culture" going too far, and the situation is entirely controversial all around.
"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," Miranda's statement said. "In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I'm truly sorry. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening. I promise to do better in my future projects."
One person who was disappointed to see Miranda apologize was Bill Maher. On his HBO talk show Real Time, the political commentator spoke about the ordeal by using his airtime to appeal to Miranda directly. From his point of view, Maher suggests that it's ridiculous to demand an apology for colorism from Miranda when he's literally the person who reimagined the Founding Fathers of the United States as people of color with Hamilton. As Maher explains:
"Please, stop the apologizing. You're the guy who made the Founding Fathers Black and Hispanic! I don't think that you have to apologize to Twitter! For f---'s sake. This is why people hate Democrats. It's cringy... Obviously, he felt it was important enough for him to make this apology. Do I think he really thinks he should apologize? I don't. He just wants to avoid the news cycle. I don't blame him, you know."
The Real Time host goes on to express his thoughts that those calling for the apology are just "bullies" and that catering to them by releasing an apology only compounds the problem.
"I understand this, but at some point, people are going to have to stand up to these bullies because that's what it is! It's just bullying. It's 'I could make you crawl like a dog and I enjoy it.' I mean, he's a Latino making a Latino movie with a Latino cast -- not good enough! Nothing is ever good enough for these people! They're like children. We don't raise our children right and it's reflected in the media. No one ever tells their children, 'Shut the f--- up, sit down, listen to your elders, stop b----ing.'"
In the Heights premiered on HBO Max earlier this month. Despite the colorism accusations, the movie has been mostly well-received, as it holds a near-perfect 96% Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 95%. As for Maher, those unhappy with In the Heights will surely be perturbed by his comments as well. This news comes to us from Real Time with Bill Maher.