Hamilton play wins damages over unauthorised, homophobic church production
A Texas church that staged an unauthorised homophobic rendition of Hamilton has apologised and agreed to pay damages to the musical’s creators.
The Door Christian Fellowship Ministries in Texas livestreamed its performance of Hamilton on 5 August, adding biblical references not in the original musical and ending with a sermon that likened gay people to addicts.
Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, unsurprisingly, didn’t take well to his work being used as a vehicle for anti-gay rhetoric. On 10 August he said he was “grateful” to everyone who told him about the “illegal, unauthorised” production. Miranda added: “Now lawyers do their work.”
On Tuesday (23 August) the church issued a statement on its Instagram page apologising for “staging an unauthorised production of Hamilton that infringed on the rights and copyrights of many”.
Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work.
And always grateful to the @dramatistsguild, who have the backs of writers everywhere, be it your first play or your fiftieth. 1/2 https://t.co/yMtM3z9crI
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 10, 2022
The church admitted it “did not ask for, or receive, a licence from the producers or creators to produce, stage or replicate or alter any part of Hamilton; nor did we seek prior permission to alter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work by changing the music, the lyrics, deleting songs, and adding dialogue”, despite the pastor previously saying they had received permission.
The church added it will “never stage the production again and will destroy” all videos and photographs from the show. It concluded the statement by stating it will pay damages.
Shane Marshall Brown, a spokesperson for Hamilton, told The New York Times all proceeds would be donated to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition that supports the local LGBTQ+ community.
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Hermant Mehta, a writer and atheism advocate, documented the changed lyrics on Twitter and shared clips from the production.
The popular song “My Shot” lost sexually-charged lyrics, while “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” added a line about introducing “hundreds of children to Jesus”.
More from The Door McAllen church's Christianized "Hamilton."
The line is *supposed* to be:
I am Hercules Mulligan
Up in it, lovin' it, yes I heard ya mother said “Come again?"
Lock up ya daughters and horses, of course.
It's hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets. pic.twitter.com/o7uMCoJlMT— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) August 7, 2022
More from The Door McAllen church's illegal Christianized "Hamilton."
The play was followed by the church’s associate pastor Victor Lopez “demonising homosexuality” – which Mehta also posted a portion of on Twitter.
“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, with homosexuality, maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, God can help you tonight.”
In a previous statement to USA Today, Brown said: “The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity and certainly LGBTQ+ rights.”
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