The church that illegally performed an unlicensed production of Hamilton will pay an unspecified amount in damages to the show’s creators.
The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church in McAllen, Texas produced a Christianized version of the hit Broadway musical early this month, with altered lyrics and Christian messaging.
After going viral and receiving attention from playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton team, the church announced this week that it would be paying agreed-upon damages to the show’s creators and producers.
According to a Hamilton spokesperson, all the money received in damages will go to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition of organizations that support the LGBTQ community of the Rio Grande Valley in which McAllen is located.
The production at the Door McAllen was followed by a homophobic sermon in which lead pastor Ramon Gutierrez likened homosexuality to addition.
Earlier this month, the Hamilton team told USA Today that “the Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity and certainly LGBTQ rights,” and Miranda’s track record as an LGBTQ advocate suggests as much.
Gutierrez also initially claimed that the production was authorized in a speech at the church.
Now, Gutierrez and the Door McAllen have released a statement “personally apologizing” for the debacle and acknowledging the illegal nature of the production.
“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,” the statement reads. “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 also frames the situation as a “learning opportunity about protected artistic works and intellectual property.”
“I recognize that as the Pastor of the church that I have an obligation and responsibility to follow the law and educate our community about [licensing] protocols,” Gutierrez wrote.
The church agreed that in addition to paying damages, it will not be performing the show again, and that all recordings and images of the production will be destroyed.
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