Culture

Hamilton Gets Mobbed

In today's woke culture, not even Broadway is safe.

Douglas Andrews · Jul. 9, 2020

“Blowback” is a term invented by the CIA and captured in the title of Chalmers Johnson’s 2000 book about unintended consequences. But the Left, having not learned the lessons of this history, is now getting some blowback in the form of cancel culture.

The latest victim of our nation’s cultural purge is “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash and Tony Award-winning musical that draws heavily from hip hop, R&B, pop, soul, and traditional-style show tunes while casting non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures in an adaptation of historian Ron Chernow’s bestselling biography.

As the Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman reports, “The video debut of a Broadway hit is finding commercial success but also a social-media backlash for its positive portrayal of men who helped found the greatest nation on earth.”

Getting to the crux of the criticism, Freeman continues, “Hamilton supported the manumission of slaves but did not press for abolition.” Another complaint from the woke Left is that only Thomas Jefferson is criticized in the play for having owned slaves, while others (such as George Washington) are largely shown as heroic figures.

The movie, adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical, premiered on Disney’s streaming service earlier this month and has already been downloaded more that 700,000 times globally. But, as Samantha Vincenty says in The Oprah Magazine, “Reaching a wider audience also brought a deluge of criticism amid the praise — including concerns about how the work lionized the United States’ slave-owning founding fathers and didn’t accurately portray history. Other Twitter users also took issue with Miranda using the n-word in two audiobooks.”

In other words, the Left is once again eating its own.

Miranda has also taken heat for, ostensibly, downplaying the issue of slavery. Apparently, the cancel crowd thinks it’s unacceptable for the production to leave folks feeling relatively good about what they’ve just seen, rather than traumatized by it. In an effort to appease the mob, Miranda tweeted out a show of remorse for the capstone achievement of his career: “Appreciate you so much … 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.”

While the trending of the #CancelHamilton hashtag hasn’t yet caused the cancelation of the play or the pulling of the new video, it’s still early.

“Can we cancel Hamilton for glorifying our racist founding fathers and painting America as a good country?” asked one concerned citizen. Another remarked, “Can’t believe Disney is showing a show about a slave trader in times like this. Also, the actors aren’t the same color as the people they are portraying. How dare they.”

Indeed, how dare they pay homage to our Founding Fathers.

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