Disney is not throwing away its shot to bring the Tony-winning pop culture phenomenon Hamilton to a wider audience. But that shot may not ring quite as clearly as fans remember. A new report suggests that when Disney releases its Hamilton “movie” theatrically in 2021, some of the production’s curse words may be censored due to the House of Mouse’s strict adherence to the PG-13 rating.
When Hamilton burst on the scene in 2015, the hip-hop musical was lauded for its energized and modern depiction of American historical figures — emulating that of the current hip-hop scene with a diverse cast and an abundance of curse words. But that factor of the musical’s success may be proving a problem with Disney, which is set to release a “live capture” version of Hamilton in theaters in 2021. According to The New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan, “one of the negotiation points” over Disney’s deal with Hamilton was over the production’s language. Because Disney adheres to a strict PG-13 or lower rating with its theatrical releases, it may have to censor the theatrical release of Hamilton, if the numerous curse words push the production over an R-rating. The MPAA allows only one “f-bomb” in a PG-13 film. Hamilton has two.
“I think we’ll figure it out when we get there,” Miranda told Buchanan when asked about potential censorship of Hamilton. “But we’re not going to cut any sections of the show.”
Miranda added, “If we have to mute a word here or there to reach the largest audience possible, I’m OK with that, because your kids already have the original language memorized. I don’t think we’re depriving anyone of anything if we mute an f-bomb here or there to make our rating.”
LMM continued "If we have to mute a word here or there to reach the largest audience possible, I'm OK with that, because your kids already have the original language memorized. I don't think we're depriving anyone of anything if we mute an f-bomb here or there to make our rating"
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) February 11, 2020
One of the songs in Hamilton, “The Adams Administration,” already censors an f-bomb for comedic effect, while “Say No To This” has Hamilton almost cursing, but not completing the word. It wouldn’t be completely different if a few more f-bombs were censored, though it would be another matter entirely if Disney took its axe to the production’s other curse words. Hopefully this won’t be a major issue when the Hamilton movie, which features the original cast in a performance shot on stage at The Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City in 2016, hits theaters on October 15, 2021.
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