In late December, Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted that his New Year’s resolution for 2020 was to, “Tweet Less, Create More,” telling fans he was “taking several steps back” to put that energy towards his work.
That may have been easier said than done. When the movie version of Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Hamilton” premiered on Disney+ on Friday. July 3, Miranda celebrated-slash-promoted the 2016-shot film by live tweeting the whole thing with fans and cast mates.
Finally, after the nearly three-hour show came to a close, Miranda wrapped up his Twitter threads, thanked his followers and praised his onstage and behind-the-scenes colleagues. Then he signed off — and, according to the Daily Mail and other outlets, set his Twitter account to private. His departure didn’t go over so well, which might explain why it was so short-lived.
While most of the responses to Miranda’s “goodnight” tweet” were positive, with fans thanking him for what one user said was something “we needed … as a country, as a people,” other Twitter users griped that Miranda was “hiding” from discussions about certain controversial elements of the story.
Tweets recapped by the Mail and JustJared showed some fans questioning the appearance of the “N”-word in the audiobook. Others reportedly argued that the largely hip-hop and R&B-inspired retelling of Alexander Hamilton’s rise as one of the country’s Founding Fathers “romanticized slave owners.”
“Lin-Manuel Miranda’s twitter going private the first day Hamilton is streaming is exactly what this country doesn’t need,” tweeted one user.
Another branded the star “childish” for setting his Twitter to private when he was being “called out” for his treatment of men who owned enslaved people.
Meanwhile, stars including Ava DuVernay and Trisha Yearwood applauded Miranda for his work — and fans like user Ozzie Mejia pointed out that Miranda closing off his Twitter to most followers “on what should have been his finest hour is your daily reminder that Twitter is poison and the world would ultimately be better off without it.”
Miranda, however, doesn’t seem sold on a Twitter-free existence just yet. By Saturday morning, he was back at the tweet-grind, responding to a fan, retweeting a recap of the movie and plugging a post by the “Hamilton” Production Stage Manager. His Twitter was also public again, though he didn’t explain the private setting stint.
It’s worth noting Miranda addressed the slavery issue in his text during an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air” earlier in the week.
“[Slavery] is in the third line of our show. It’s a system in which every character in our show is complicit in some way or another,” he told Gross, addressing the new poignancy of “Hamilton” amid this year’s intense national reckoning with regard to systemic racism.
“Hamilton — although he voiced anti-slavery beliefs — remained complicit in the system,” Miranda continued.
“And other than calling out Jefferson on his hypocrisy with regards to slavery in Act 2, doesn’t really say much else over the course of Act 2. And I think that’s actually pretty honest. … He didn’t really do much about it after that. None of them did. None of them did enough. And we say that, too, in the final moments of the song. So that hits differently now because we’re having a conversation, we’re having a real reckoning of how do you uproot an original sin?”
As for Miranda’s mini-Twitter hiatus, something else he said on “Fresh Air” suggests he may have simply needed a break, something he seems not to have given himself during the movie’s filming.
Speaking to Gross, Miranda said “Hamilton” was shot in 2016 on the cast’s days off and during downtime while they were still performing the show seven or eight times a week on Broadway, plus “Ham4Ham” mini-shows outside the theater. He was also writing music for “Moana” at the time, he said — and he and his wife, Vanessa Nadal, had just welcomed a new baby.
“When it comes to looking at myself, I see me at maybe my most tired I’ve ever been,” he admitted.
“I think I look more rested now on the other side of 40 than I did in 2016,” Miranda mused, adding that the only reason he “came out on the other side of that year intact” was that his “incredible wife” was “holding down the fort.”
Which by the way is just what she did on Friday. After pitching in on Miranda’s live-tweet bonanza with her own, often hilarious posts, Nadal eventually put the couple’s two kids to bed so Miranda could finish the movie with his fans and (maybe) get some rest.
Sharing her “good night” post, Miranda tweeted of Nadal, “best of wives best of women …,” before returning to his role as host of the hours-long watch party.