The creator and star of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, made a statement after an allegedly illegal and unauthorized performance of his Tony Award-winning musical was produced at a church in McAllen, Texas. The church version featured anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.
"Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work," Miranda started his tweet on Wednesday.
The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church livestreamed its version of the Broadway musical, which was saturated with biblical references and included homophobic language. At the end of the play, the associate pastor of the church, Victor Lopez, gave a closing sermon denouncing homosexuality.
“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, homosexuality, maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, relationships,” Lopez said in a video posted on Twitter by YouTuber and podcast host Hemant Mehta. “God can help you tonight.”
Miranda continued in his post by thanking the Dramatists Guild, an association that represents playwrights, composers, and lyricists.
"And always grateful to the [Dramatists Guild] who have the backs of writers everywhere, be it your first play or your fiftieth," he wrote.
Miranda included a statement from the Dramatists Guild that detailed the rights of writers and condemned the church’s actions. It said, “No writer's work, whether they are a student who has just written their first play, or Lin-Manuel Miranda, can be performed without their permission. And it is never okay to change the words, lyrics, or notes without their express consent."
When the news of the first show broke August 6, Door McAllen Pastor Roman Gutierrez told The Dallas Morning News that the church took proper measures to gain legal permission to produce the show and that the church is not anti-LGBTQ+.
A spokesperson for Hamilton's New York producers told The Advocate that the unauthorized production was granted permission under strict terms for one subsequent performance after it responded to a cease and desist letter. However, the local production company appears to have violated that too.
The Hamilton spokesperson denied the church had permission to perform the musical.
"Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church," the spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Advocate.
The spokesperson addressed fans' concerns regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ sermon at the show's end.
"The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity, and certainly LGBTQ+ rights," the spokesperson wrote. "We are in the process of reviewing the unauthorized changes made to the script to determine further action."
They added, "We would like to thank our devoted fans for bringing this to our attention."