There is nothing above reproach for Black Lives Matter activists and the acclaimed musical Hamilton and its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, are under attack for silence on protests and historical revisionism.
“We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part,” Miranda said in a video posted on his social media. “As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure.”
He then went on to apologize for “not pushing harder and faster for us to speak these self-evident truths under the Hamilton banner which has come to mean so much to so many of you.” He added: “Hamilton doesn’t exist without the black and brown artists who created and revolutionized and changed the world through the culture, music and language of hip-hop. Literally, the idea of the show doesn’t exist without the brilliant black and brown artists in our cast, crew and production team who breathe life into this story every time it’s performed,” he explained.
Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller expressed similar sentiments in a posted video.
“I’m not a politician. I’m not an activist. I’m not an expert. I’m a theater producer. But what I realize today is most importantly I’m an American citizen and silence equals complicity and I apologize for my silence thus far,” Seller said.
He went on to state that “African Americans have always and will always be integral to our success as a nation, as a culture and as a people. … I must make it my effort to work with all of the organizations who are doing so much to support the welfare, livelihood, safety and liberty of African Americans.”
Activist Ajamu Baracka attacked Miranda personally, openly on his own Twitter account using a racial slur.
“Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Puerto Rican Uncle Tom who instead of fighting for independence makes feel-good revisionism for white liberals. He is pathetic,” Baracka said.
The hit hip hop musical, about the USA’s first Treasury Secretary, has been a global sensation and won 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize.