Disney Plus subscribers were thrilled when they heard that they'd be able to screen the massive Broadway hit "Hamilton" starting on July 3. Only the luckiest ticket holders got to see Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., and company in the original production, before it blew up to the point where scoring seats to the play was unimaginable.
And yet, even "Hamilton's" massive popularity couldn't protect it from cancel culture. Some folks who are viewing the play for the first time, or rewatching it, say it's problematic because it doesn't paint the whole picture about our former presidents' ties to slavery.
Some critics went further, arguing that the play is "racist buffoonery."
The play & now movie Hamilton is racist buffoonery & revisionist history meant to make liberal white folks feel good about their collaboration with the colonial project know as the U.S. & its racist imperialist project abroad. Miranda should concentrate on feeing Puerto Rico— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) July 4, 2020
Miranda called the criticism "valid" and that everything is "fair game." But he said he did the "best" he could with his adaptation.
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
MIranda got some backup from director Ava DuVernay, who reasoned that "Hamilton" at least started these important conversations.
"Slavery is not central, for sure," she wrote. "But [Lin] didn't deny or ignore it either. ... I greatly enjoyed the work and was wildly curious after watching. I wouldn't have studied any of those 'founders' like I did if it wasn't for Hamilton and Lin-Manuel."
Protesters have been tearing down, vandalizing, and beheading statues all over the country of historical figures they believe to be racist.