‘Hamilton’: Lin-Manuel Miranda Reacts to Recent Backlash; ‘Did My Best.’
Ever since the news broke that the Tony award-winning play, Hamilton would be adapted for film, fans have been over the moon excited. That excitement only increased when it was announced that the original cast would reprise their roles for the film adaptation. And while the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic prevented fans from viewing Hamiton in theaters, Disney+ was all too willing to release it exclusively on their platform on July 3, 2020.
‘Hamilton’ releases on Disney+ with the original cast
Featuring a diverse cast and created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is a reimagined story of founding father, Alexander Hamilton. While many people were head over heels about Hamilton’s release and excited that more people would get to experience the story through a new medium, not everyone is pleased. Old criticisms about Hamilton came to the forefront of the conversation once more.
The play receives renewed criticism
Many people are displeased with the fact that Hamilton does not adequately address slavery in the U.S. and how much America’s founding fathers participated in the heinous and corrupt system of slavery and slave trade. Of course, this is hardly a new criticism. When Hamilton premiered for the stage back in 2015, the show was met with a similar critique. But, given the current state of the world, and the fact that Hamilton has been released for a new platform, the criticism has reemerged.
One person who has addressed the recent criticism is writer and podcast host, Tracy Clayton. Taking to her Twitter page, she shared with her followers that she loved the in-depth conversations that people were having about the play. She believed that the conversation was an indication of the progress we’ve made and the progress that may come.
Tracy Clayton addresses the movie on Twitter
“I’m late w the Hamilton criticism stuff & I’m 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,” Clayton began.
The writer continued on to share that she understood where the criticism about Hamilton came from. But, she also shared examples of how she was able to experience things that also made her frustrated. “I totally get the frustration about it being a play about slaveholders that is not about slavery. I’ve felt that in lots of things I watch, but I flex the same muscle I use when I listen to hip hop as a black woman. We enjoy problematic things all the time,” she continued.
The importance of nuance
Finally, Clayton concluded by saying that some of the criticism was valid, but it shouldn’t be treated like a black and white issue. “After reading the critiques I would have appreciated more context about Hamilton & slavery. But to lump it in with statues of Columbus and Robert E Lee denies this conversation the nuance it deserves & we’re capable of giving it that,” the writer states.
‘Hamilton’ creator and cast member Lin-Manuel Miranda responds to the backlash
Seeing that Clayton was advocating for nuance and conversation, Lin- Manuel Miranda (who is also part of the Hamilton cast) chose to respond. Stating that all the criticism was valid, he also chose to show his appreciation for Clayton and the way she chose to address the critiques that the play was receiving.
“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,” the Hamilton star wrote. Clearly, Miranda knows that Hamilton has some issues. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy of viewing and enjoying.