If you haven’t seen Hamilton, then if you’re something of a theater junkie like me, I recommend you see it. Lin-Manuel Miranda put together a fascinating glimpse into the founding of our country from the perspective of Alexander Hamilton and those closest to him, taking you on a musical journey spanning from Hamilton’s arrival in America to his death at the hands of Aaron Burr.
It’s not for everyone and it contains a few political themes meant for digestion in a modern era, but it is a superbly crafted piece of theater that deserves a lot of the accolades it’s received.
And Miranda is about to let it be sacrificed to appease the beast that is the modern-day outrage mob.
As reported by the Daily Wire, Hamilton is now under fire for its depiction of our Founding Fathers in anything less than a villainous light:
On Twitter, users voiced their concerns over Hamilton’s “problematic” narrative, which critics claim lionized slave-owning founding fathers and played with the truth of history – in a musical where people portraying the founding fathers danced and rapped.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star of Hamilton, participated in a July 3 viewing of the movie version of the play, responding and reacting along with others on Twitter. Miranda, however, received enough criticism of the show to set his Twitter account to private. On July 6, Miranda finally addressed the controversy surrounding Hamilton, saying, “All the criticisms are valid.”
Miranda made the comments while responding to Buzzfeed and Netflix host Tracy Clayton’s criticism of Hamilton in which she said: “im late w the hamilton criticism stuff & im clearly biased but.. i really like that this conversation is happening. hamilton the play and the movie were given to us in two different worlds & our willingness to interrogate things in this way feels like a clear sign of change.”
Miranda could stand up for his play that he and so many others worked so hard on. It’s a play that has brought joy to millions and helped launch his career as a playwright and performer extraordinaire.
But his response was cowardice. He bowed to the mob and essentially left his play’s fate to those who have no intention of playing fair.
“Appreciate you so much, @brokeymcpoverty. All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game,” tweeted Miranda.
Appreciate you so much, @brokeymcpoverty. All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game. https://t.co/mjhU8sXS1U
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) July 6, 2020
This is absolutely disappointing and for many reasons.
Firstly, Miranda is essentially giving the mob every reason to believe that it is righteous in its indignation, and more than that, that it’s effective in getting things it doesn’t like (that day) pulled from our culture at large. Miranda could be gathering people to his side, using his influence and reason to get those whose hearts he’s already won to help him fight for the thing that will go down in history as one of America’s great plays.
Instead, he’s willing to stand back and let the mob butcher his creation, calling the act “fair game.”
As I said, this mob has no intention to play fair. It’s not in the business of fairness, it’s here to destroy and only destroy. It doesn’t cultivate positive change, it only punishes that which doesn’t conform to its ideological demands.
I often lament that social justice, outrage mobs, and cancel culture have prevented us from seeing great art that today’s overly-sensitive and outraged have stopped thanks to artists being intimidated to create anything great. Here we see it first hand.