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NEW YORK (AP) — The Broadway smash “Hamilton,” which has been cheered for reclaiming the nation’s founding story by a multicultural cast, has oddly come under fire for specifically seeking “nonwhite men and women” for upcoming roles in future versions.

That went too far for the Actors’ Equity Association union, which said Wednesday that the show’s language was not official or in compliance with their rules.

The show responded by saying it regretted the confusion and will amend the notice to add that “we welcome people of all ethnicities to audition.”

No such outcry was heard when the show was first being mounted, which called specifically for nonwhite actors to play the likes of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and Eliza Hamilton. Only King George III was supposed to be filled by a white man.

“Hamilton” producers said such a stance adheres to the accepted practice that certain characteristics in certain roles constitute a legal and “bona fide occupational qualification.” Other shows also cast with ethnicity in mind.

Since it opened off-Broadway last year, the show has been celebrated for putting minorities at the center of America’s birth. The show’s African-American, Asian and Latino actors have been cheered by President Barak Obama, British actress Helen Mirren and many others.

The latest snag occurred when the show posted on its website a call for “nonwhite men and women, ages 20s to 30s, for Broadway and upcoming tours.” Equity, which usually reviews casting notices, said it had not in this case.

“Our audition rules are created to provide the broadest access possible for our members to be seen for roles,” the union said.

The show is by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the show’s book, music and lyrics, and stars in the title role. It stresses the orphan, immigrant roots of Hamilton and has a terrifically varied score, ranging from pop ballads to gospel to sexy R&B. A Chicago production will open this fall and a national tour will travel to San Francisco and then Los Angeles in 2017.

“‘Hamilton’ depicts the birth of our nation in a singular way,” producer Jeffrey Seller said in a statement. “We will continue to cast the show with the same multicultural diversity that we have employed thus far.”

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9 thoughts on “Open Casting Call For ‘Hamilton’ Asking For ‘Non-White Actors’ Causes Ruckus

  1. Amber on said:

    And I do not see no blacks who cares about this. Hamilton was white and these people back then owned slaves and mistreated blacks. I know “broadway” is trying to do something different but if they want whites, lets them have them. The people they are portraying were white. I thought for years that Cleopatra was white due to Elizabeth Taylor playing her. I was a 18 years when I learned better that Cleo was not white. This is what happen when you tamper with history and REAL events.

  2. ….For years, Hollywood has been portraying “Ancient Egyptians” as “lily white”…See the “Ten Commandments”…

  3. blackspeak on said:

    White people can’t insult black people… Watch and see how many non-white, especially blacks, who will be falling all over themselves to be a part of this production… Forget the fact that most blacks were in slavery during Hamilton’s reign….

  4. By casting only non-white actors, the show could very well miss an opportunity for exemplary talent and performances, which could make the difference in funding for future showings. Hollywood does this all the time, white-only casts, but at least they are smart enough not to put that in a casting call announcement. By not including a diverse staff, eventually, the business or show will cease to exist, especially in the 21st century. Instead of the country moving forward, on both sides, we are moving backwards. Do better.

    • Amber on said:

      If the people who are portray were white, then let them get white actors. I would say the same if a show was about MLK, Malcolm X, Fredrick Douglas, and they get an all black cast. That is just based on FACT on who those people were. Now something nonfictional, that is ok to have diverse.

  5. So what–Hollywood shuts out qualified actors/actresses of color all the time to cast their lily White

    People of color besides Tyler Perry need to own their own movie studios. Then we can make whatever films we wish with our own brothas and sistahs in the cast!!!!!!!

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