In a wide-ranging interview with The New Yorker over the weekend, the singer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda said critics will always have an opinion about his work regardless of how successful it is at the box office.
“That’s fair,” he said. “I do that with art I find lacking.”
“It’s not cancellation,” he added. “That’s having opinions. So I try to take it in that spirit.”
Miranda received some backlash over the summer for his musical film “In the Heights,” which was slammed for lacking Afro-Latinx representation in its casting of mostly light-skinned or white-passing Latinx actors.
“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 wrote in an apology on Twitter in August. “I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latinx representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy.”
“Thanks for your honest feedback. I promise to do better in my future projects, and 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 wrote.
Miranda told The New Yorker that while it’s important for a creator to learn from their mistakes, they should not think about how their work will be received while creating it.
“If you get yourself into a place of fear, of ‘What are people going to say about what I write?,’ you’re f – – ked,” he said. “It’s over. And that’s a place I have to really push past now in a different way. At the end of the day, you can’t control how the world receives something.”
“All you can control is what your intentions were. And, if it closes in a night, those six years don’t feel like wasted time, because you learned from it and you put everything you had into it,” he said.
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