Texas church apologizes, agrees to pay damages for unauthorized ‘Christian’ production of ‘Hamilton’
A Texas church responsible for the unauthorized “Christian” production of “Hamilton” apologized to those involved in its creation, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, for its staging of the hit musical and will pay for any damages.
In a statement posted on Instagram on Tuesday, The Door McAllen Church pastor Roman Gutierrez apologized for the church’s staging of the Broadway production that “infringed on the rights and copyrights of many.”
“The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church did not ask for, or receive, a license from the producers or creators of Hamilton to produce, stage, replicate or alter any part of Hamilton; nor did we seek prior permission to alter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work by changing the music, the lyrics, deleting songs, and adding dialogue,” the statement reads. “We respect the copyright of Hamilton’s author and contributors.”
The church’s version of the musical changed lyrics and added text to the show containing Christian themes and references to Jesus Christ. The Door Christian Fellowship’s production also included a sermon at the end of the show listing homosexuality as a “struggle” alongside alcohol and drugs, according to The New York Times.
Gutierrez, who initially said the “Hamilton” team had approved “our version” of the musical, said the ministry will see this moment as “a learning opportunity about protected artistic works and intellectual property.”
“I recognize as the Pastor of the church that I have an obligation and responsibility to follow the law and educate our community about these protocols,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for “Hamilton” said that it will donate all damages to a nonprofit coalition supporting the LGBTQ+ community in South Texas, according to the Times.
“On behalf of The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church, we agree we will never stage the performance again and will destroy any and all video or sound recordings and images of the unauthorized performances or rehearsals, and request that all our members do the same,” Gutierrez said. “Lastly, we will pay damages for our actions.”
The Hill has reach out to the Dramatists Guild of America for comment.