Reflecting Surroundings

Submitted by ub on Wed, 06/16/2021 - 14:12

Some may decide to call it playing and trying to please the crowd, I prefer to focus on reflecting the community that we want to serve.

With its Latino cast, the arrival of In the Heights on #HBO and at local theaters was billed as a milestone for Hollywood. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda issued an apology for the film not including enough black Latino actors.

After Miranda shared his mi culpa for the lack of Afro-Latinos in #InTheHeights, the major motion picture version of his hit Broadway musical that reportedly included Afro-Hispanic performers in the background and dance roles some balked.

Critics of the movie musical say real-life Washington Heights is so heavily Afro-Dominicanos that it should have reflected  this mix on the screen. The mission for all media is simple. Set the tone for every culture through collaboration and ensure that the operation is meeting the fundamental goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

One of the first things I learned during my media career with startups and turnarounds was to make sure and reflect the community served. In other words, have the best racial representation available, no matter what.

As I recruited broadcasting and cable staff members In Los Angeles it was important to find the best balance and the right mix of Mexican and Central American talent. In New York, it is Puerto Rican, Dominican, as well as Caribbean talent and so it goes.

It may have been lost in translation, but unfortunately, it went over the head for organizers of ‘In The Heights.’ Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching the film along with the colorful banners and flags, but it was the people in the film who may have lacked enough reflective color. The cast members were perhaps not as representative of Washington Heights.

Why is Puerto Rita, a woman who had her face made up to look darker for her most well-known film roles is now telling dark-skinned Afro Latinos to just “leave it alone” and not really reflecting reality?