The Dramatists Guild's sister organization, The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, released a statement today we'd like to share with our membership about censorship's role in the theatre.
"The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund wishes to express its full support to the creators and cast of Hamilton: An American Musical, for exercising their right to free speech this week, and for using the theater to speak truth to power. We believe that free expression does not require an apology. Further, we believe that theater was not invented to comfort those in power, but instead, to tell difficult stories in our complicated and diverse democracy. The President-Elect, offended by the manner in which the cast of Hamilton chose to speak their truth, commanded them to apologize. The chilling effect which this kind of command can have on the willingness of Americans everywhere to speak their truths is obvious and alarming. Censorship tells artists what they are not permitted to say. 'Apologize!' goes beyond this to tell them what they are expected to say. We proudly stand with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton as they quite literally sing these words from the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' You are an inspiration to your fellow artists and you have our gratitude and our support."
The Dramatists Guild released their own statement on the situation on Saturday afternoon.
"The Dramatists Guild of America applauds the courage of the HAMILTON cast in exercising its first amendment right and refutes any voice that would criticize or condemn them for doing so. Free, unimpeded speech is one of the core values of American democracy."