Disney+ has scored a hit with the filmed version of “Hamilton,” but that success has renewed discussion about how the musical deals with the slaveholders it portrays.
While it boasts a diverse cast including creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda who is of Puerto Rican descent, “Hamilton” has been criticized by those who believe it doesn’t accurately portray the horrors of slavery and glosses over the role in it played by America’s founding fathers.
It’s a discussion which kicked off after “Hamilton” debuted on Broadway in 2015 and has broadened with the release of the film in the time of intense focus on the Black Lives Matters movement.
The show’s creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda responded to the criticism on Twitter Monday after a series of observations made by writer Tracy Clayton.
Clayton, who hosts the Netflix podcast “Strong Black Legends,” tweeted “im late w the hamilton criticism stuff & im 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,” she wrote.
“I totally get the frustration about it being a play about slaveholders that is not about slavery,” Clayton tweeted. “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.”
Clayton added “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.”
She also noted that “humans are flawed and messy, both the ones who lived then & the ones reading and writing about them now.”
Miranda tweeted his appreciation of Clayton and wrote “All the criticisms are valid.”
“The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get,” he tweeted. “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.”
Clayton and Miranda have a longstanding appreciation of each other. She has talked about being a fan of the show and of Miranda who she has interviewed.