Over the past year, Hamilton has ignited a new wave of enthusiasm for theater and Anerican History. As the brainchild of Lin-Miranda Manuel, Hamilton has drawn attention to one of the most influential founding fathers of this country through hip-hop, an up-and-coming musical genre that has only had thirty years of mainstream exposure.
Another selling point of Hamilton is its diverse cast. Where else would you see a Latino dude playing Alexander Hamilton or a Black guy portraying George Washington? This musical was an endorsement for a progressiveAmerica that celebrates tolerance and diversity!
I’m surprised that the wealthy, White patrons of this captivating show never found it ironic that Black actors were chosen to play slave-owners. Honestly, I find Hamilton to be another nauseating example of superficially imposed diversity in pop culture.
This reminds me of a few months ago when Internet forums were raving over the announcement that Idris Elba, a Black British actor, was being tapped to play agent 007 in the new James Bond movie. The prospects of a Black man playing James Bond was seen as a testimony to racial tolerance in the 21st century.
However, I thought to myself, “What crap!”. James Bond was conceptualized by Ian Fleming to be a White British man of Scottish and Swiss ancestry. Casting Idris Elba to play James Bond would be akin to recruiting Leonardo DeCaprio to play Gabbar Singh! It diminishes the authenticity of the characters being portrayed!!
Everyone, particularly Asian-Americans, was infuriated when Scarlet Johannsen was cast to play Moroto Kunagani in the cinematic adaptation of the manga series Ghost in the Shell. The fact that the character’s name was changed to “Major” also added insult to injury!
Or remember when Mickey Rooney was cast to play Mr.Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Honestly, whoever allowed that abomination to happen deserves to be castrated!!
Yet I don’t understand why no one bats an eye when the producers of Hamilton issue a casting call specifically for non-White actors to play very White historical characters.
If Lin-Miranda Manuel was genuinely interested in presenting a historical tale with a predominantly non-White cast, why not direct a musical that revolves around non-White historical figures like Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King or Cesar Chavez. Maybe write a script that draws attention to Chinese railroad workers or Mexican migrant farmers.
It seems that the entertainment industry is overcompensating for White guilt by intentionally casting non-White artists to portray White character roles. A Black woman was cast to play Hermione in a theatrical adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Although Hermione was clearly written as a typical White girl, JK Rowling grants her approval claiming she never assigned a race to Hermione. Of course, Rowling is blatently attempting to appease the Tolerence&Diversity Police by displaying her acceptance of the darkies.
Alexander Hamilton should be portrayed by an actor who actually looks like him. The same goes for Moroto Kunagani. The same goes for Gabbar Singh. We’re really doing a disservice when we intentionally miscast characters/historical figures in order to fulfill a virtue-signaling agenda.