"You can't define 32 fucking countries with a single word": Lin-Manuel Miranda against the use of the term 'Latino'

From time to time, within the United States, the debate resurfaces around what should be the nomination of a group that is enormously present in the country’s demography. The term “latino” is used to describe all those Spanish-speaking people, although in recent times the desire not to exclude gender marks has made “latinx” be gaining followers. Not exactly the case with Lin-Manuel Miranda, since to begin with, this artist believes that trying to reconcile so many identities within a single label is doomed to failure.

Miranda is the son of Puerto Ricans and in the last decade he has become a key pop culture personality, especially in terms of his Latino identity and how it permeates his work. The musician triumphed with In the Heights, musical centered on a New York neighborhood with an immigrant population (Washington Heights), and later on Hamilton he tried to reread the genesis of the United States through racialized interpreters. While Miranda has been drawn into the bosom of Disney and lent his signature to the music of films like Vaiana (to which must be added the future soundtracks of Vivo O Charm, also for the House of the Mouse), has never hesitated to express his opinion in the debate on the word “Latino”.

Interviewed by IndieWire, this is the last thing he has commented. “What you find are the limits of wanting to define 32 fucking different countries with a single word. Literally, no word is going to make everyone happy. “ Miranda is of the opinion, in effect, that this label seems insufficient. “When I was in high school, every week, the Latino club debated ‘Latino’ versus ‘Hispanic.’ Now ‘Hispanic’ is in disuse and only variations of the word are discussed ”.

What variations are you referring to? To those who, as we mentioned, are ascribed to the genre, and who have illuminated both “latinx” and “Latin”. Miranda likes the latter: “’Latiné’ is great because it is of Latin creation. And that’s fine with me. I use them interchangeably because I think the cake is still getting cold and will never be perfect; try to capture too many things “. The artist is on everyone’s lips again these days on account of the future premiere of In a New York neighborhood, which precisely adapts In the Heights and that, curious thing, is not directed by a Latin person.

Instead of this we have John M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians with Chinese ancestry. This, for Miranda, is not an impediment when it comes to approaching the story. “He grew up in a first-generation immigrant family business. We all grow up hearing the crazy story of how our parents settled in this country and then wondering how to honor that. John knows it well. And he understands the material as if he were a first generation Latino immigrant ”.

In a New York neighborhoodAfter several delays due to the pandemic, it will open the Tribeca Festival in the coming weeks, precisely in New York. To the cinemas of Spain comes the June 18.

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