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Honest Art Loses Footing in Period of Cancellations

“If you get yourself into a place of fear, of ‘What are people going to say about what I write?,’ you’re fucked."

-Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda took a shot at cancel culture during an interview with the New Yorker over the weekend, while subsequently thanking them for their feedback. During the summer, Miranda’s musical “In The Heights” was slammed by critics for lacking “Afro-Latinx representation” in it’s casting, which consists of “mostly light-skinned or white-passing Latinx actors.”

Miranda accepted the criticism with open arms, and does not consider the outrage part of his cancellation. Instead, he explained that artists need to hear feedback in order to produce better works in the future, but shouldn’t be thinking about how a work is going to be received during its creation.

Understanding that you cannot control how the world will receive your work, Miranda advises artists not to think about it during the creative process. If you get hung up on if your work will pass the cancel culture mob’s approval, the result will not be the intended piece of art. Instead, it will be a reflection of what the world wants art to look like, and that’s not really art at all.

Cancel culture has attempted to destroy art in the United States. Instead of appreciating pieces produced from an individual’s personal experiences, we demand that all forms of art represent us all equally.Why does it matter if the actors used in a musical are mostly light-skinned if these actors were the right choice for the job? If you want to tell a story with darker-skinned actors, you are absolutely free to do so thanks to the First Amendment.

Art doesn’t have to be universally appreciated by the masses to be considered art, and the masses shouldn’t feel compelled to dictate its production. Art is a reflection of the artist, which is what makes it unique. Once artists no longer feel as if they can adequately reflect themselves in their own pieces, we will be left with art that’s only produced for mass appeal such as blockbuster films and radio hits.

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