The playwright is defending his creation after learning that a church in Texas put on an allegedly unauthorized version of his smash-hit Broadway musical.
On Tuesday, the Dramatists Guild, which represents playwrights, composers and lyricists, shared a statement condemning the Door McAllen Church in McAllen, Texas for allegedly performing the unauthorized production over the weekend. "In addition to performing the show without a license, the Door McAllen Church changed lyrics and added text without permission," the statement says. "We hold up the Door McAllen Church's brazen infringement to shine a light on the problematic pattern of some theatrical organizations performing authors' work without a license and rewriting the text without authorial consent. No organization, professional, amateur, or religious, is exempt from these laws."
The statement continued, "No writer's work, whether they are a student who has just written their first play, or Lin-Manuel Miranda, can be performed without their permission. And it is never okay to change the words, lyrics, or notes, without their express consent."
Miranda thanked the Dramatists Guild in a tweet posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday. "Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production," he wrote. "Now lawyers do their work. And always grateful to the @dramatistsguild, who have the backs of writers everywhere, be it your first play or your fiftieth."
Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work.
And always grateful to the @dramatistsguild, who have the backs of writers everywhere, be it your first play or your fiftieth. 1/2 https://t.co/yMtM3z9crI
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 10, 2022
According to a video of the alleged livestreamed production obtained by NBC News, the performance appeared "to conclude with a sermon by a church pastor comparing being gay to being addicted to alcohol or drugs." The livestream has since been taken down.
EW has reached out to representatives for the church for additional comment.