Lin-Manuel Miranda apologises for ‘moral failure’ following his silence on George Floyd death

Ellie Harrison
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Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, has apologised for not speaking out sooner about the death of George Floyd.

On Monday (25 May), Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.

In footage of the incident, Floyd can be heard pleading for his life, saying: “I can’t breathe.”

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned Floyd down, has been arrested and charged with murder.

In a video on the official Hamilton Twitter account, Miranda said: “We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part.

“As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologise for my part in this moral failure.”

He added: “Hamilton doesn’t exist without the black and brown artists who created and revolutionised and changed the world through the culture, music and language of hip-hop. Literally, the idea of the show doesn’t exist without the brilliant black and brown artists in our cast, crew and production team who breathe life into this story every time it’s performed.”

Speaking of the protests that have raged across American cities in recent days, Miranda said: “It’s up to us and words and deeds to stand up for our fellow citizens. It’s up to us to do the work to be better allies and have each other’s backs.”

Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller also apologised for his initial silence on the issue.

“I’m not a politician. I’m not an activist. I’m not an expert. I’m a theatre producer,” he said. ”But what I realise today is most importantly I’m an American citizen and silence equals complicity and I apologise for my silence thus far.”

Many celebrities have been posting on social media about Floyd’s death and the subsequent backlash. Black Mirror star Will Poulter called out white rioters for “hijacking” the protests. Rihanna shared an Instagram post saying she was “haunted” by the story, while Beyoncé said she felt “broken and disgusted” by racism in America.

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