The Texas church responsible for staging the unauthorised version of Hamilton has apologised and agreed to pay damages.
Earlier this month, The Door Chrisitan Fellowship Church went viral on social media after they put on multiple performances of the beloved Tony-winning musical.
Unlike the source material, however, the church’s version was full of references to Christianity and the Bible.
It also included an anti-LGBTQ+ sermon by The Door pastor Victor Lopez – which featured him comparing homosexuality to drug addiction.
“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, homosexuality. Maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, relationships — God can help you tonight,” Lopez said.
Shortly after the show made headlines, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda released a statement slamming the Texas-based church for its illegal performance.
“Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work,” the In The Heights star tweeted.
After weeks of silence, the church’s head pastor Roman Gutierrez apologised for the performances in a lengthy statement on Instagram.
“On behalf of The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church, I would like to personally apologise to the creator of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, the producers of Hamilton and the numerous others who contributed their intellectual property to Hamilton, for staging an unauthorised production of Hamilton that infringed on the rights and copyrights of many,” Gutierrez wrote on 23 August.
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
The religious official then admitted that the church “didn’t ask for or receive a license” to produce the show or seek permission to alter the production’s music, lyrics, and dialogue.
“I recognize responsibility as the Pastor of the church that I have an obligation and responsibility to follow the law and educate our community about these protocols,” he continued.
“Our ministry will use this moment as a learning opportunity about protected artistic works and intellectual property.
“On behalf of The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church, we agree we will never stage the performance again and will destroy any and all video or sound recordings and images of the unauthorized performances or rehearsals.”
At the end of his statement, Gutierrez revealed that the church would be paying an undisclosed amount of damages for their actions.
In a statement to People, Hamilton spokesperson Shane Marshall Brown revealed that the aforementioned damages would be donated to the South Texas Equality Project.
“The South Texas Equality Project is a coalition of organisations that work to advocate for, celebrate, uplift, educate and provide support to the LGBTQIA+ community of the Rio Grande Valley,” Brown told the news outlet.
You can watch the real groundbreaking Hamilton musical on Disney+.