Op-Ed: Thanks to Cancel Culture, Now Even 'Hamilton' Is Off Limits


As cancel culture continues to rise in the United States, it is inevitable that everything we enjoy will ultimately be deemed offensive by the radical left — even the progressive cultural icons it has previously praised.

A perfect example of this was highlighted with the cinematic release of “Hamilton” on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. Shortly after, the previously hallowed musical quickly became the latest target of oppression by the cancel culture mob.

In 2015, the release of “Hamilton” on Broadway stunned our nation, quickly becoming a phenomenon. The progressive recounting of our nation’s history through hip hop music with a racially diverse cast allowed Americans from all backgrounds to engage with the story of our Founding Fathers in a manner never before seen.

Praised by celebrities, journalists and politicians alike, the cutting-edge production was turning heads and exciting countless Americans to learn and understand more about our nation’s history. It received 11 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), a Grammy Award and even the Pulitzer Prize.

Speaking objectively, “Hamilton” was the hallmark of a culturally progressive lens through which to view the true events of American history.

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Incredibly, in early 2020, the progressive cultural mentality had shifted so substantially that #CancelHamilton was a hashtag gaining significant traction on Twitter, with one user even tweeting, “Can we cancel Hamilton for glorifying our racist founding fathers and painting America as a good country?”

Numerous opinion pieces have been published by CNN, The New York Times, Oprah’s O magazine and more describing the musical as “problematic” and “[incompatible] with our current moment.”

So, what happened in the last five years?

When the musical debuted in early 2015, President Barack Obama’s second term in office was coming to a close. America had gone through a progressive and cultural transformation with the first black president, and the Black Lives Matter organization was formed following the death of Trayvon Martin.

Are you surprised that even "Hamilton" has become a target of cancel culture?

To see a racially diverse cast performing as America’s Founding Fathers while rapping on a Broadway stage was a major cultural victory for the left. The musical quickly became beloved by lovers of the theater and history alike.

As President Donald Trump assumed office in early 2017, the progressive left had taken much deeper roots throughout American culture, particularly on college campuses, where students were encouraged to engage in cancel culture in a much more prominent and vocal way than ever before.

Allegedly “offensive” speakers were targeted on campus with extreme protests and violence, students were attacked by professors and even received failing grades for supporting the president or conservative thought and “free speech guides” were issued on hundreds of campuses to limit what students should and shouldn’t say at the risk of being offensive.

Today, the students who attended college during these days of extreme ideological indoctrination have graduated; now we are seeing the results through the growth of cancel culture.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, was targeted with calls to boycott the brand after its CEO publicly supported President Trump.

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America’s most popular fast-food chain, Chick-fil-A, was constantly under attack for being a Christian-affiliated company and labeled “anti-LGBT” before ultimately caving to cancel culture.

And, of course, statues of many of the Founding Fathers have been torn down and vandalized for being associated with any time period which related to historical slavery. Even statues of President Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president and the man credited with preserving the Union and ending slavery in the United States, has been canceled by the radical left. Wait, what?

With the emotionally driven, hungry mob leading the charge to cancel anything that could possibly be deemed offensive by someone, somewhere, it’s inevitable that everything will become a target of cancel culture at some point in time.

Apple Pie? Oh no, you’re next.

As the needle of the cultural acceptance gauge continues to change with time, eventually even the icons of progressivism like “Hamilton” will become the targets of the very culture it sought to uplift.

The radical left is an increasingly progressive entity with constantly changing standards for what is politically correct. The movement is eroding its own credibility and exposing itself for nothing more than a rogue attempt at anti-anything.

Sadly, as long as the silent majority remains silent, it is possible that unchecked cancel culture could eliminate any sense of independent identity in our nation.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Isabel Brown is a graduate student at Georgetown University pursuing her master’s degree in biomedical sciences policy and advocacy. You can follow her on social media @theisabelbrown (Instagram/Facebook) and @theisabelb (Twitter).
Isabel Brown is a recent college graduate from Colorado who endured years of leftist indoctrination on her college campus and is now pursuing her master’s degree at Georgetown University in biomedical sciences policy and advocacy. After serving as a Turning Point USA chapter founder and president for two years at Colorado State University, Isabel recently became a Turning Point USA contributor to continue sharing the powerful message of the organization. In addition to the content she produces for PragerU, Isabel independently produces and hosts On The Front Lines, a video series highlighting the adversity college students experience due to their conservative beliefs. Isabel is also a former U.S. Senate and White House intern. You can follow her on social media @theisabelbrown (Instagram/Facebook) and @theisabelb (Twitter).