‘Hamilton’ Producer Defends Casting Call for Non-White Actors

Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s hit Broadway musical stirred controversy with open casting call; producer says they’re ‘essential to the storytelling’

“Hamilton” producers have defended their decision to post an open casting call specifically seeking “non-white” actors, which has caused some controversy this week.

“‘Hamilton’ depicts the birth of our nation in a singular way,” said producer Jeffrey Seller in a statement released Wednesday. “We will continue to cast the show with the same multicultural diversity that we have employed thus far.”

The producers of the show, which opened last August on Broadway and has consistently sold out, noted, “It is essential to the storytelling of ‘Hamilton’ that the principal roles — which were written for non-white characters (excepting King George) — be performed by non-white actors.”

Writer-composer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s hit hip-hop musical features a primarily non-white cast retelling the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers, making a statement on the role immigrants played in the forming of the United States of America.

A “Hamilton” spokesman also announced they will be tweaking the language of the casting call to welcome people of all ethnicities to audition. But certain roles were written for non-white characters and will be performed by non-white actors.

“This also follows in the tradition of many shows that call for race, ethnicity or age specific casting, whether it’s ‘The Color Purple’ or ‘Porgy & Bess’ or ‘Matilda,'” said the spokesperson.

Read the full statement from “Hamilton” below:

The producers of HAMILTON regret the confusion that’s arisen from the recent posting of an open call casting notice for the show. It is essential to the storytelling of HAMILTON that the principal roles — which were written for non-white characters (excepting King George) — be performed by non-white actors. This adheres to the accepted practice that certain characteristics in certain roles constitute a “bona fide occupational qualification” that is legal. This also follows in the tradition of many shows that call for race, ethnicity or age specific casting, whether it’s THE COLOR PURPLE or PORGY & BESS, or MATILDA. The casting will be amended to also include language we neglected to add, that is, we welcome people of all ethnicities to audition for HAMILTON.

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