First it was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s turn to face the woke cancel mob. Now it is Rita Moreno’s for defending him.
Academy Award-winner Rita Moreno has come under attack from a left-wing cancel mob after she defended Lin-Manuel Miranda against accusations that the movie In the Heights engaged in “colorism” by marginalizing Afro-Latinos.
The 89-year-old star is being accused of harboring prejudice against dark-skinned Latinos and having “white adjacency supremacy.” She is also facing accusations of hypocrisy, with people noting her skin was darkened for her Oscar-winning role in West Wide Story.
On Tuesday, Moreno appeared on CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert where she stood up for Miranda, saying the criticism of In the Heights “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 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. They’re really attacking the wrong person.”
She added: “I’m simply saying, can’t you just wait awhile and leave it alone?”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 16, 2021
Her comments have provoked outrage from left-wing journalists and activists, some of whom have labelled her “white” and accused her of being part of the “white latinx media establishment.”
Film critic Robert Daniels, who has written for RogerEbert.com and the Los Angeles Times, said he was “totally disappointed” with Moreno.
“Well I’m simply saying, can’t you just wait a while and leave it alone?” Moreno responded.
That’s such a damming quote, and I’m totally disappointed with Rita Moreno. https://t.co/hTy7u3Izhy
— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) June 16, 2021
Indiewire journalist Tambay Obenson implied that Moreno is a hypocrite due to her role in West Side Story, in which her skin was darkened.
#FunFact: Rita Moreno's skin was darkened for her role as Anita in the 1961 adaptation of "West Side Story," which launched her career with an Oscar win. Although she didn't have a say in the matter. But clearly, for Black Latinx in Hollywood, "wait a while" is so 1960s. https://t.co/tSn4YCJCQR
— TAMBAY OBENSON (@TambayObenson) June 16, 2021
Fangirlish editor-in-chief Lissete Lanuza Saenz said Moreno’s comments “show how deep” colorism runs in the Latino community.
Rita Moreno opened her mouth and my abuelita spoke through her. Disappointed, but not actually surprised. Because having HER, of all people, dismiss the colorism problem in the latine community basically shows how deep it runs.
— Lissete Lanuza Sáenz (@lizziethat) June 16, 2021
CNN political analyst Natasha Alford said Moreno was helping to preserve the “status quo.”
Colbert even tried to throw Rita Moreno a line. She doubled down instead. This is how the status quo is preserved. https://t.co/WOXJ0zAZCI
— Natasha S. Alford (@NatashaSAlford) June 16, 2021
Others were far more vicious in their attacks on Moreno, including people who accused her of upholding “white supremacy.”
Rita Moreno’s commitment to white supremacy is ON BRAND. 🏾♂️ the white latinx media establishment keep telling us that Black people need to wait in the back of the line to receive our liberation. That we need to swallow our abuses. That we need to be gretefull for their whiteness.
— Iyawo Andrew Viñales (@fogoav) June 16, 2021
I love how all the white latinx people like Rita Moreno and Ana Navarro are actively trying to gaslight Afro latinx for demanding visibility 🏽♀️ either be an ally for black voices or shut the hell up! https://t.co/XD0nOrckb5
— Chelsea thee Pegasus🌹 (@chelseadioresq) June 16, 2021
I loved Rita Moreno but this is my last string. I have been so disappointed by so many of my idols this year. She literally what we POC were told in the 60’s. She should not have touched the topic, especially as a white-passing latina https://t.co/BO2k1KuAYi
— lorien aponte 🏳️🌈 (@lolit42009) June 16, 2021
I couldn't even watch that Rita Moreno clip. Man, fcuk that. "Wait your turn" That's White Adjacency Supremacy seeping out. But guess what, no matter how protected your White Adjacency makes you feel, them White folks will throw y'all non white asses over that cliff first.
— Lynn V (@lynnv378) June 16, 2021
White Latinx people will never understand! It’s amazing to me. She has to acknowledge her privilege as a WHITE Puerto Rican! Rita, Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, etc are able to get roles and become Oscar/Emmy/Grammy-nominated because of their white skin!! Rita Moreno do better! https://t.co/8CTpXwEwnB
— Mx. Moore (@themartymoore) June 16, 2021
— Domac 💖 (@HorchataCipota) June 16, 2021