Hamilton, the pop-rap Broadway musical reimagining the life of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton is arriving on Disney+ soon as a 2016 recording of the stage show starring the production’s original actors. The recorded version has had a couple of swear words censored, a decision that many purist fans are decrying on social media. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Christopher Jackson, who plays George Washington in Hamilton, stated that the original spirit of the production has remained intact despite the censoring.
“I want to say that only thing that I noticed was maybe an F-bomb or two. Outside of that, it’s the show. But I think just because of the motion picture guidelines, it’s way more important that people see it. When my kids sing along to the soundtrack they don’t get to say those words. But the first time my daughter did I said ‘Uncle Lin has some explaining to do.”
Similarly, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the acclaimed rapper, writer and actor who created the Hamilton stage show, has also weighed in on the matter and recently stated on Twitter that removing two swear words is a small price to pay for bringing the show in front of a wider audience.
“LANGUAGE! 1. On July 3, you’re getting the whole show, every note & scene, & a 1-minute countdown clock during intermission (bathroom!),” Miranda wrote on Twitter. “2. But MPAA has a hard rule about language: more than 1 utterance of ‘f**k’ is an automatic R rating. We have 3 ‘F**ks’ in our show. So… “I literally gave two f**ks so the kids could see it: 1. In Yorktown, there’s a mute over ‘I get the f_ back up again.’ 2. ‘Southern *record scratch*kin’ Democratic Republicans.’ You can sing whatEVER you like at home (even sync up the album)! Love you. Enjoy.”
It is true that the censors have only censored a couple of swears, and left the rest of the scenes and dialogs intact. In return for that small sacrifice, the creators of the show will be able to bring their Tony and Pulitzer-award-winning production before a global audience that would otherwise never have been able to watch the show live on stage.
The phenomenal success of Hamilton on Broadway will only be aided further with its addition to the Disney+ roster of content. In fact, the biggest surprise about the success of the franchise is that it has not been adapted into a movie yet. That is actually by design since Miranda has declared that a movie adaptation will surely get made someday, but only after the original stage play has reached as wide an audience as possible.
That means, if the Disney+ version of Hamilton proves anywhere near as popular as the original stage version, the day will not be far that Hollywood will announce a movie version of the show, complete with a racially diverse cast of America’s founding fathers rapping about the national bill of rights.