Toni Morrison Hated 'Hamilton' So Much She Funded a Play About Lin-Manuel Miranda

Toni Morrison is said to have hated Hamilton so much that she helped to finance a play called The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The late author, whose work explored Black identity in America, reportedly made the second-largest donation to fund a play that was written by Ishmael Reed, who is best known for his 1972 novel "Mumbo Jumbo."

Hamilton, the hip-hop-inspired Broadway sensation about Alexander Hamilton's rise, humanizes the founding fathers in a show that's considered emblematic of the Obama years. It was viewed through a different lens during the Trump years amid rising racial tensions in America.

Ishmael Reed has been one of Hamilton's most ardent critics. In 2019 he told CurrentAffairs.org: "They cast black people in order to defend projects that [black people] might find objectionable. It sort of distracts from the racism of the white historical characters."

So he penned the play, a rewriting of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" that portrays a fictionalized version of the Hamilton creator who is is visited by the historical figures portrayed in the musical.

By the end of the play, the fictional Miranda is supposed to see the error of his ways in creating Hamilton.

"I draw attention to what was left out of Hamilton by giving speaking parts to those who were left out of the narrative," he said.

The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda ran in theatres in New York in 2019, with Reed telling AAWW magazine at the time: "She [Morrison] was the second largest patron of my new play The Haunting of Lin Manuel Miranda."

Morrison, the author of classics like "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," passed away in August 2019.

Miranda responded to the criticisms of Hamilton in July 2020 when he tweeted: "All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn't get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It's all fair game."

Appreciate you so much, @brokeymcpoverty. All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game. https://t.co/mjhU8sXS1U

— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) July 6, 2020

Miranda was forced to apologize this week after the release of the movie version of his other musical, In The Heights, was marred with a colorism casting controversy.

The film has drawn severe online condemnation for lacking Afro-Latinx representation in the cast.

"I'm seeing the discussion around Afro-Latino representation in our film this week and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don't feel sufficiently represented in it, particularly among the leading roles," Miranda tweeted in a statement. "I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback."

"In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short," he added. "I am truly sorry. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening."

Toni Morrisson
Pulitzer prize winning author Toni Morrison, 77, is photographed in her New York apartment. Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images