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Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda took to social media Saturday night to issue an apology for taking part in the “moral failure” of not speaking up amid the ongoing protests taking place across the nation over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“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.
As tense protests over the death of Floyd and other police killings of black people grew Saturday across the nation, Miranda said “it’s up to us and words and deeds to stand up for our fellow citizens. It’s up to us to do the work to be better allies and have each other’s backs.” He later thanked the Hamilton alumni, company members and fans for “holding us accountable.”
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.”
He also said that he will support candidates running for office whose platform includes support for the African American community.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) May 31, 2020
Both Miranda and Seller’s videos are accompanied by links to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
The companies of Hadestown and What the Constitution Means to Me also posted statements on their respective social media accounts.
The Tony-winning hit Broadway musical Hadestown, written by Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin, stated: “We, as a company, are raising our voices in support of change, to fundamentally alter the systems that have led to the hate, division and intolerance that we are witnessing today.”
The Hadestown company also provides links to organizations, including Black Lives Matter, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim the Block and the website Dismantling Racism Works.
We ALL can show the way the world can be. In the words of Orpheus, “with each other we are stronger than we know.” See below for ways you can help. #BlackLivesMatter #StandWithUs #Allies #ICantBreathe #WeHaveHadEnough pic.twitter.com/33x3AU8BXV
— Hadestown (@hadestown) May 31, 2020
The company of Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me announced a donation of $6,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. They also encouraged others “to fight the continuing racism, inequality, and violence against black people in the United States.”
On behalf of the entire Constitution family, we have donated $6,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) to fight the continuing racism, inequality, and violence against black people in the United States. Please join us if you can: https://t.co/e1ZoVseKwN pic.twitter.com/dA00JLI2GQ
— What the Constitution Means to Me (@constitutionbwy) May 31, 2020
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