Only a few days after the broadcasting debut of the Broadway musical on Disney +, Hamilton's cancellation was demanded after the main character, founding father Alexander Hamilton, became the center of attention again.
The show, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, shows Hamilton as a "young, scratchy and hungry" immigrant and as someone who is passionate about abolishing slavery.
With recent protests against Black Lives Matter, the story has now been scrutinized – some indicated that Hamilton was a slave trader.
The founding father married a prominent New York slave-owner family and managed the sale of slaves for his parents-in-law. He was also responsible for a Caribbean trading company operating in the slave trade.
However, it doesn't seem that Hamilton ever owned slaves himself.
The musical plays during the American Revolution and does not discuss the central role slavery played in this particular moment in history without mentioning that most of the founding fathers were slave owners
Some have reported on social media to request the show's cancellation altogether
The show shows Alexander Hamilton as a "young, scratchy and hungry" immigrant and someone who was passionate about abolishing slavery but was dealing with slaves, although he apparently never had directly enslaved people
The Hamilton musical, which won 11 Tonys for its Broadway run and grossed $ 1 billion worldwide, cast many non-white actors in roles as historical white figures.
But the production glosses over the subject of slavery and gives little evidence of the profits that some founding fathers have made with it.
Ajamu Baraka, an international human rights activist, organizer and political analyst, wrote: “The piece & now film Hamilton is a racist antagonist and revisionist story that is intended to give liberal whites a good feel for their cooperation with the colonial project, which is as USA and racist imperialist is known project abroad. Miranda should focus on paying Puerto Rico. & # 39;
The real story behind the show has the hashtag & # 39; CancelHamilton & # 39; grow on Twitter.
Who was Alexander Hamilton?
Hamilton was a penniless orphan from the Caribbean who was so brilliant – and so good at self-promotion – that he rose through the ranks in the War of Independence to become George Washington's right hand.
Hamilton was born and grew up in the West Indies. He was orphaned as a teenager. Admitted as an apprentice to an international shipping company on his home island, his talents were recognized by local benefactors who created a fund for formal training.
Hamilton came to New York in 1772 at the age of 17 to study at King’s College (now Columbia University).
While living in the city, he was exposed to American patriots and became a supporter of their cause. As a student, he wrote defenses for the revolutionary cause and published in local newspapers.
Soon afterwards, Hamilton was appointed artillery captain at the start of the War of Independence. and later his skills were recognized again and he was invited to become an adjutant to General George Washington.
After the war, Hamilton, as a member of Congress, was instrumental in creating the new constitution. As a co-author of the Federalist Papers, he was indispensable for the adoption of the constitution.
As the first US Treasury Secretary (1789-95), Hamilton created a modern financial system, financed public debt, founded a bank, and founded a mint with the dollar as currency.
He defended the constitution in the federal papers in which he published a series of 85 essays. T.hey would be his most famous writings.
Hamilton also founded the New York Post and was even involved in a sex scandal, the Reynolds affair.
In the infamous "Reynolds Pamphlet", published in 1797, Hamilton went public about an affair with a married woman, Maria Reynolds.
He did this to rid his name of any suspicions of illegal financial speculation with her husband James.
It was America's first prominent sex scandal and ultimately dashed all hopes of higher office.
In 1780 he married Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of a wealthy and influential New York landowner and military officer. The couple had eight children. It has been a source of loyalty and stability over the years.
Hamilton also had a lifelong rivalry with Aaron Burr, the vice president under Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton and Burr have been political opponents since the constitutional debate in 1789.
Burr claimed that Hamilton insulted him and challenged him to a duel in July 1804. Every man fired a shot; Hamilton missed.
Some historians believe that Hamilton never intended to hit Burr, but "to throw his shot away."
Hamilton was mortally wounded by Burr's bullet and died of his injuries the following day.
Although it doesn't appear that Hamilton ever owned slaves himself, he married a prominent New York slave owner family and managed the slave sales for his wife's family.
The Schuyler family is believed to have owned between 8 and 13 slaves on their property in Albany, New York over the years, and another 15 in the home in Saratoga, New York.
The slaves consisted of a handful of men, several women and their children.
The male slaves moved materials between the properties of the Schuylers while the women did household chores, including cooking, washing, and looking after the children.
Enslaved children were trained in the houses by waiters.
Source: Associated Press, National Park Service, History.com, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Park
& # 39; How is Hamilton not canceled? Alexander Hamilton owned and traded slaves. I think we have to cancel Hamilton, ”wrote a Twitter user.
& # 39; Hamilton was a slave trader. Tear the statues NOW and #CancelHamilton & # 39;, added another.
Some of the tweets seemed ironic and ridiculed the "Cancel Culture", in which shows and films were removed from streaming sites for their portrayal of racism.
The classic film "Gone with the Wind" was removed from the streaming platform HBO Max after being criticized for romanticizing slavery in a nationwide reassessment of cultural values.
And episodes of TV shows like Scrubs, Golden Girls, and 30 Rock were accessed from online platforms for their portrayal of Blackface.
Former Fox News and NBC Today presenter Megyn Kelly asked if the show could survive.
"Can Hamilton – a show celebrating America and its founders – survive the culture of cancellation?" she asked in a tweet.
And the conservative author of the political commentator, Nick Adams, tweeted: “Alexander Hamilton bought and traded slaves. Will Broadway cancel one of the most successful shows ever?
Another user tweeted, "I can't believe Disney is doing a show about a slave trader at times like this. The actors are not the same color as the people who portray them. How dare you. #CancelHamilton & # 39 ;.
Others jumped to defend show artist Miranda.
“For those of you who use #CancelHamilton, you have to learn to separate facts from fictions. Hamilton is a fucking Broadway musical, not a history lesson. Give a reason to those of you who are trying to cancel Lin. Your reasoning is that he made the founding fathers look like good people. It is the AMERICAN BASIC HISTORY that the founding fathers were not good people. Two years ago you wouldn't shut up about the musical. Do you want to cancel it now? Yes, you are stupid asses. & # 39;
The musical plays during the American Revolution and does not discuss the central role slavery played in this particular moment in history without mentioning that most of the founding fathers were slave owners.
In an interview with NPR last week, Miranda admitted that the show doesn't treat slavery in a way it deserves.
Although he expressed anti-slavery beliefs, he remained complicit in the system. And besides the fact that Jefferson is called in Act 2 for his hypocrisy regarding slavery, (the show) doesn't really say much else in the course of Act 2. And I think that's actually pretty honest.
& # 39; He didn't really do much about it. None of them did. None of them have done enough. And we say that in the last moments. This is different now because we are having a conversation. We really count on how to uproot original sin.
The hashtag & # 39; CancelHamilton & # 39; has started glorifying a slave trader on Twitter who is uncomfortable for some
When the Broadway musical became very popular in 2016, historian Annette Gordon-Reed wrote: “In the musical, only Jefferson is shown as the slave owner. But Madison also had slaves, and George Washington too. & # 39;
"(Hamilton) was not an abolitionist," Gordon-Reed notes of the Harvard Gazette. He bought and sold slaves for his in-laws, and combating slavery was never on the agenda.
"He wasn't a champion of the little guy as the show portrayed," she said. & # 39; He was elitist. He was in favor of having a president for life. & # 39;
"In the Ellis Island immigrant narrative, he wasn't an immigrant," said Gordon-Reed. "He wasn't an immigrant either."
Last month, the creator used social media to apologize for not having previously spoken about the protests against Black Lives Matter and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Miranda has apologized on Hamilton's official Twitter account and sent a contrite message.
“We spoke out on the day of the pulse shoot. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly expressed the undeniable truth that Black Lives is Matter, and that we have denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part, ”said Miranda in the 90-second video.
“It is up to us and words and deeds to stand up for our fellow citizens. It is up to us to do the work to be better allies and have our backs to each other, ”he said. Miranda is pictured in 2016
"As the author of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure."
Miranda apologized for the fact that we are no longer pushing for the truths to be spoken under the Hamilton banner, which meant so much to so many of you.
& # 39; Hamilton does not exist without the black-brown artists who created, revolutionized and changed the world through the culture, music and language of hip-hop. The idea of the show literally 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 is performed, ”he continued.
“It is up to us and words and deeds to stand up for our fellow citizens. It is up to us to do the work to be better allies and turn our backs on each other, ”said Miranda, thanking the members and fans of the company for holding us accountable.
Jeffrey Seller, a producer on the show, repeated similar thoughts in a second video.
"I am not a politician. I am not an activist. I am not an expert. I am a theater producer. But what I realize today is that I am primarily an American citizen and that silence is tantamount to complicity. I apologize for my silence so far, ”began the seller.
40-year-old Lin-Manuel Miranda apologized to Hamilton fans for the Broadway show's failure to publicly denounce systemic racism earlier
Jeffrey Seller, a producer on the show, repeated similar thoughts in a second video
“African Americans have always been an integral part of our success as a nation, as a culture and as a people. … I must strive to work with all organizations that do so much to support the well-being, livelihood, security, and freedom of African Americans. "
Hamilton's Twitter account followed the videos with links to Black Lives Matter and Minneapolis NAACP, as well as the Minneapolis Freedom Fund, for which people can donate to save protesters in the twin cities.
Hamilton's Twitter account followed the videos with links to Black Lives Matter and Minneapolis NAACP, as well as the Minneapolis Freedom Fund that people can donate to demonstrators in the Twin Cities. pictured in January 2019
Miranda and Seller's testimony came days after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis in May.
Floyd was killed when a white cop, Derek Chauvin, pushed his knee back for almost nine minutes, including two minutes later when he stopped breathing and stopped responding.
So far, all four officers involved in the arrest have been released by the Minneapolis police and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Creator Miranda said he was proud of the musical's impact on nationwide anti-racism protests that followed Floyd's death in police custody last month.
"I know that I know the language of the show is related when I see a sign on a street protest saying" History has its eyes on you "or" Tomorrow it will be more of give us "A path that makes me incredibly proud," said Miranda, referring to popular texts from the show.
"I can't even worry about it," he said at an online press conference.
When Hamilton premiered in 2015, it was groundbreaking in its mix of hip-hop music numbers, color-blind casting, and political revolution.
Since the cinemas are closed due to the pandemic and the first cast has long since switched to other productions, the streamed film on Disney + offers a rare opportunity to see the show's original course.
The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and other founding fathers with rap and hip-hop numbers mixed with traditional show melodies.
Since its first Broadway run, the musical has been performed across the country and abroad and has been cast mostly with non-white actors.
This diversity and the message of risking everything for a noble cause mean that the timing couldn't be more appropriate, said the original actress Renee Elise Goldsberry, who played Angelica Schuyler.
"We can remember how those young people felt back then when" to lay down your life to free us "meant something," said Goldsberry, referring to one of the lines in the musical.
"The diversity of this country can be claimed by everyone who created it – that's one of the many things this show celebrates, and I think it is needed right now," she added.
The release comes at a time when historical statues and monuments across the country are being removed as the Americans grapple with the legacy of racism.
Actor Okieriete Onaodowan said he was excited to "see how this affects young blacks today".
"Young children who are out there, who are angry and angry … can observe this and realize that they can use their energy by writing, challenging the people who tell you things you don't like to hear, like Hamilton did, said Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan and James Madison.
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