Lin-Manuel Miranda Reacts To Criticism Over Colourism: ‘It’s Not Cancellation, That’s Having Opinions’

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By Corey Atad.

Making art means taking criticism in stride for Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In a new interview for The New Yorker, the “Tick, Tick… Boom!” director and “Hamilton” creator talks about some of the controversy around his work.

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Over the summer, following the release of the film “In the Heights”, based on his hit Broadway musical, Miranda received criticism for not including enough Afro-Latinx representation.

In June, Miranda apologized publicly for “the hurt and frustration over colourism” in the movie musical.

The director talked with the magazine about taking in that criticism and why he doesn’t look at it as a bad thing.

“Once something has success, you’re not the underdog trying to make it happen anymore,” he said. “You have to graduate past the mindset of, like, It’s a miracle I got something on the stage. Because now that is expected of me. And people go, ‘Yeah, but what about this? And what about this?’ And that’s fair! I do that with art I find lacking.

“It’s not cancellation. That’s having opinions,” Miranda continued. “So I try to take it in that spirit.”

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Despite that, though, Miranda is aware of the pitfalls of listening to too much criticism.

“The challenge I find myself in is, how do I stay hungry? How do I still feel like I have something to say and not worry about what is not in the frame? I’m just trying to build the frame in the first place. Certainly, I have learned lessons from the reception of my work — good, bad and indifferent. You try to take all of it, and whatever sticks to your gut is what you bring with you to your next project.”

Miranda added, “If you get yourself into a place of fear, of ‘What are people going to say about what I write?’ you’re f***ed. 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.”

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