Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘I know what I’m going to fight for in the years to come’

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Several months ago, I was reading a profile of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the writer sort of half-joked that Lin-Manuel could complete his EGOT by winning an Oscar for the songs he wrote for Moana. Since I hadn’t heard much about Moana at that time, I was like, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” Skip ahead to present day and Moana is a huge hit and the songs Lin-Manuel wrote for the film are being praised around the world. Moana has become another “feminist Disney princess” movie and Lin-Manuel has a real shot at collecting an Oscar in a few months, thus completing his EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony). He already has the EGT, he just needs to O. Anyway, Lin-Manuel talked about all of that and much more in a new interview with The Daily Beast. The whole piece is worth a read – go here. Some highlights:

The feminism of his Moana songs: “With both of the songs “Where You Are” and “How Far I’ll Go,” you have a character who is being prescribed a role by her community. This is a role you are meant to play, and you will be happier if you just play it. I think that strikes a chord for just about anyone. Our family puts us in a role based on whether you’re a younger sibling or an older sibling; whether you are in a society in which women are allowed to play this but not this; or boys are allowed to play with these toys but not these toys. Did you see that amazing “Wells for Boys” sketch on Saturday Night Live? It nailed that notion of ‘What are you allowed to play with? and what speaks to you when you’re a child that society doesn’t necessarily let you play with? I think “Where You Are” speaks very specifically to Moana and her island and her individual story, but I think it strikes a deeper chord of ‘What do you do when your individual world wants you to be this, and you want to be this?’

How he’s coping with Trump’s victory: “Obviously I supported the other team quite publicly, and I found myself in a very weird circumstance where I was on a plane on Election Day headed from London to Mexico to do press [for Moana], and so I was sad to be away from my family—because you want to be close to your family when momentous events happen—and, in addition to the disappointment that comes with not having your candidate win, I went through that before. I remember going through that in 2000 not knowing who was president, with Gore conceding and then taking it back. It’s interesting how kids who are voting now don’t remember that. That felt way scarier in a way because we didn’t even have a president. You’re supposed to have someone by the end of the night. But I woke up with a very pronounced case of moral clarity. In addition to the disappointment, it was like, oh, this does not change the things that I believe in. The things that I believe in that this candidate doesn’t means we’re going to have to fight for them. You don’t want to go backwards when it comes to our LGBT brothers and sisters; you don’t want to go backwards when it comes to the disenfranchisement of voters of color. We have to keep fighting for the things we believe in, and it just made that very clear: I know who I am, and I know what I’m going to fight for in the years to come. That felt like the tonic of it.”

He’s a vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood: “People are going to believe what they’re going to believe. For me, my mother is on the board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and my mother has her own personal stories with Planned Parenthood. That’s an organization that’s really saved lives time and again. The thing it’s controversial for [abortion] is a very small part of the health services it provides, and so, like I said, this is a way to support something that is so important. It’s a no-brainer, and the fun bonus is that my mom gets to look like the cool board member because of our efforts. I’m happy to support it, and that’s just that. Women’s health is a priority, it’s worth protecting, and if I can be of service in that way, then that’s how I’ll be of service. Full stop.

[From The Daily Beast]

I didn’t know he was so involved with supporting Planned Parenthood, and I didn’t know his mom is on the board of PP’s Action Fund. Bless him and bless his mom. What a great ally he is for women too, across the board. I love what he says about the feminism of Moana, and I love what he says about knowing what he believes in and what he will fight for in the years to come. There’s a clarity there that I feel too – it’s not like “maybe we need to change our ideas to succeed.” It’s more like “No, we don’t need to change, we’re right and we just need to fight for all of this.”

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘I know what I’m going to fight for in the years to come’”

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  1. jenn12 says:

    NYC in the house! Love Lin-Manuel. I actually considered writing him in for president this past election. He is a strong, compassionate genius and a true ally.

  2. Lingling says:

    Planned parenthood is doing gods work. It empowers women to take their sexual health into their own hands and put them in control of their own bodies. I just have a really hard time imagining an argument that is reasonable against it… including religion. I am not a Christian, nor do I know a lot about it but correct me if I’m wrong but no one can judge a person for their choices in that religion other than your god… or Jesus maybe I’m not sure, but still seems like a lot of judgment that directly conflicts with the beliefs they use as the back bone of their argument.

    Also Moana is amazing, please please please more princesses that don’t NEED a prince.

    • IlsaLund says:

      Jesus tells his disciples to “judge not lest ye be judged” and “love one another as yourself.” Well, it’s apparent that Christians don’t practice either of those beliefs. I was raised in a Christian household, but as an adult, I don’t belong to any organized religion and just consider myself a spiritual person. The hypocrisy of religious people (not just Christians) have left me disallusioned. I pray for the day that God’s name will no longer be invoked in the evil that people do.

      • Lingling says:

        You know what I completely understand that. I am Chinese both by birth and ethnicity and I married a man Canadian by birth, Chinese by ethnicity. I am and always have been a practicing Buddhist which where I am from is the common religion. I have had a hard time culturally integrating and it’s driven me into what my kids call an ethnic bubble. It’s not anywhere as bad in Canada, but people using prejudice and bigotry but citing religion when it suited them in America was a huge reason why I have had issues.

        My opinion is religious beliefs have no place in politics, thus arguments citing religion are invalid. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean you can forcefully impose your religious beliefs on everyone.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Here is a statistic: Texas, which managed to close so many women’s health clinics and which is now trying to completely defund PP, now has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Women are already resorting to DIY abortions, std rates are spiking, and emergency rooms are reporting record numbers of women showing up in labor who have never had prenatal care. How exactly is this “pro-life”?

      • Tate says:

        @IlsaLund I am at a similar place in my life. I was brought up in a very religious home. I chose not to be a part of organized religion as an adult because I saw the raging hypocrisy of it all through childhood. This past election only solidified how I feel.

      • I'mScaredAsHell says:

        @JCA…typical holier than thou attitude using religion to justify prejudice and bigotry towards others. So sanctimonious that your beliefs are right and everyone else is wrong…..how is that any different from any other religious fanatics.

      • HK9 says:

        @JCA- calling something as it is, is not a judgement, it’s being honest. I too have had IslaLund’s experience and I know of what she speaks. I for one agree with her.

    • Hazel says:

      I just saw Moana yesterday & loved it; even teared up a time or two. I think the music had a lot to do with the tears. And Moana is NOT a princess, as she points out to Maui in a sort of insidery Disney argument between the two (perhaps they’re finally getting the idea we’re tired of the princess crap).

  3. anniefannie says:

    He’s a very active supporter of PP and is currently raffeling off tics to see Hamilton in 3 cities for donations to PP. He’s raised major $$’s
    Couldn’t possibly love this man more…..

  4. Marie says:

    He is currently holding a raffle on FB where you get an entry for a $10 donation to PP and get a chance to win Hamilton tickets to all the cities it is showing. It’s a really good cause but I highly recommend avoiding the comments section for those posts as it will probably give you cancer.

    • Lingling says:

      Can we please stop making ‘cancer’ a pejorative insult? People die, suffer and families are torn apart by it. Let’s not make that another word we rebrand to mean something new. It cheapens it and let’s add Autistic, Hitler and Nazi to the list of words that are now being overused out of context and getting their actual meaning warped to the point it cheapens it for those who suffered or currently struggle.

  5. IlsaLund says:

    He’s such a talented man. So glad to see his commitment and love that he lends his voice to causes he believes in. I agree with his views that now is not the time to wither, but to stand strong, soldier on and know what you have to do.

  6. Jayna says:

    What a refreshing interview, after slogging through so many tone-deaf or pretentious or inarticulate celeb interviews this year. He’s a very thoughtful and interesting man and multi-talented artist.

    • SusanneToo says:

      He seems like a lovely person. Congratulations to his parents who obviously did a wonderful job raising him.

    • Dolphin7 says:

      Love Lin-Manuel, his SNL sketches were awesome. And I love his songs for Moana and I love Moana!!! Watched it on a Disney cruise with my family. The whole audience went crazy and were applauding at the end. It was awesome that there wasn’t a love story at the center of the story, just Moana’s journey to save her village.

    • Kitten says:

      +1,000,000
      He hit all the right notes here. Love him!

  7. Lucy says:

    He’s always on the right side.

  8. Deadnotsleeping says:

    I’ll tell anyone who is close enough to hear it that I never had to face the question of abortion because I got affordable birth control from pp when I was young. And it drives me crazy when people refuse to think about all the amazing things planned parenthood has done.

    As for Moana, I saw it with my kids over Thanksgiving and we bought the soundtrack. They are STILL playing “you’re welcome” on repeat. I hope he wins his Oscar.

    • Kori says:

      My hubby is as obsessed with the soundtrack as a 12 year old. Lol He’s a huge LMM fan and we always have Hamilton on during car trips.

  9. robyn says:

    I like what he said about coping with a Trump victory. To me rewarding p*ssygrabbing conman Trump with a victory, with the help of Russia, is an aberration that I hope will be righted with an impeachment or jail time for treason for Trump. While keeping that hope alive, I realize Pence is a terrible second but he is stable.

    Hillary Democrats were right and balanced on their ideas imo, including PP, so I hope this crazy loss doesn’t throw their good judgement out the window and compel them to go too far in one direction or another on the issues. It wasn’t lack of good solid Democratic ideas, it was just that Putin puppet Trump sucked all the oxygen, common sense and reason out of every discussion.

  10. Insomniac says:

    He’s been one of the few rays of light in a dismal couple of years.

  11. Valois says:

    I don’t think Moana is a huge hit, at least not in terms of box office.

    I really liked it though. No idea why it’s underperformed.

    • Kate says:

      It’s made 350 million, so it is a hit by normal standards, just far from a Frozen style hit.

      IMO Disney did a really lousy job of marketing this one. The timing didn’t help though, they were doing their big press push just as Trump won, so no one was paying attention.

      The merchandising situation is a problem too, a lot of little kids only notice movies because of the related toys and junk and Disney doesn’t seem to know what to do with Moana in that respect. I took my neices and they loved it, but they hadn’t heard of it before that. Whereas they knew all about Frozen before it came out and were begging to go because Frozen merch was already absolutely everywhere.

      • Valois says:

        350 on a 150 million budget is not a huge hit, even more so if the 150 don’t include marketing. But I remember that it is yet to be released in several countries. I think it will end up with 500-600 million, similar to Tangled. It’s crazy that this could be a disappointment for some people, but I think people’s judgement got clouded due to Disney’s success this year. One way or the other, I think huge hit is an overstatement. Disney’s clearly happy with LMM though, they would not give him The Little Mermaid if that was not the case.

        I’ve read some analysis saying that Moana is the kind of film that could be super successful if Moana becomes a popular Disney character and they make tons of money from the merchandise, so we’ll see how that goes. You’re right, their marketing was far from perfect

  12. cathy says:

    Use your voice. I’m going to Washington DC on January 21st to support women’s rights. There are marches going on in most states. Go to facebook to find your local chapter if you can’t make it to DC. I’m 55 and I’m marching for women of all generations. We had women march for us in the 60′s and 70′s to obtain the right to choose what we want to do with our bodies. We can’t afford to let politicians and churches to take our rights away.

    • Snazzy says:

      The marches are happening worldwide on the 21st! I’m going to one in Geneva, Switzerland. Supporting my American sisters and women everywhere any way I can :)

  13. lucy2 says:

    He’s a light in the world in dark times. Love him.

  14. Senaber says:

    Honking for Lin.

  15. minx says:

    love LMM–he’s talented and adorable.
    My daughter and I saw Hamilton here in Chicago last month…it was unbelievable.

  16. Lauren says:

    If he wins the Oscar for Moana he’d have a PEGOT, which is even more rare! Especially so young! I’m rooting for him!

  17. Nicole says:

    I love Lin he is a gem. He constantly engaged about more than his work but about life and struggles. I love that about him. His parents are some cool people. His dad is also politically active
    And yes the chances of him getting his MacPEGOT (it’s what Twitter calls his EGOT but with the MacArthur grant and Pulitzer tacked on) are pretty much secure. Moana was amazing and it makes me confident about Mary Poppins which he is currently working on now.

  18. Carrie says:

    Love Lin. Love Hamilton. Love what he says here. BUT the comments on CB feel increasingly insular and exacting. There seems to be one approved message on every topic, and anything that strays from it is worthy of a smackdown. Not everyone is as well-spoken as Mr. Miranda, and different life experiences and upbringings and beliefs have brought people to different conclusions. Lots of people are idiots on both sides, and lots of people are deeply good on both sides. Morality and ethics are often gray, no matter how black/white we want them to be.

    I’m a feminist, a Democrat, and a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood, but I don’t support abortion in many cases. I support a women’s right to control her sexuality and manage her consequences, but I believe life is sparked at conception. I don’t support the death penalty or euthanasia, and I am very involved in suicide prevention. I like people alive and thriving, and I do think it’s possible for most with access to education, opportunity, love and support.

    I’ve had very personal experiences with this and feel confident about my stance, though I’m always open to hearing what brought others to their conclusion — and have grown very empathetic to the opposing viewpoint in the process, though I remain resolute in mine.

    So please don’t act like everyone who opposes abortion is an idiot. Or that every Christian is a brainwashed fool. Let’s not replace outdated and hurtful stereotypes with a new set.

    • teacakes says:

      @Carrie – as many have said, there’s a simple thing you can do if you don’t like abortions – don’t have one yourself.

      Your efforts in other fields are commendable but I hope you realise that your right to exercise your views does not and cannot override another woman’s rights over her body.

  19. Kori says:

    GOP congress announced they are defunding PP ASAP. The gangster in charge will be even worse than trump I think. Just the same spiel about abortion even though the Hyde amendment took care of that vis a vis PP years ago. Welcome to fact free america.

  20. anniefannie says:

    Because theyre committed to providing ALL legal woman’s services. Abortion represents 3 to 5 % of their profit so I don’t think it’s that lucrative. PP has always been progressive about women’s health. Thank god for that!

  21. Kate says:

    Why would they get rid of abortion services ? It’s legal and necessary for many women. Those who dislike abortion have one solution : do not get one. Simple

  22. I'mScaredAsHell says:

    Go troll somewhere else.

  23. lightpurple says:

    In many areas, PP is the ONLY provider. Even for those for whom the procedure is medically necessary.

  24. Lingling says:

    Because you don’t know every womans situation. Why should an entire country be held to the standards of a religion they may not practice and most of the practitioners only pick and choose from to fit their agenda. If you’re against abortion, my recommendation is to not get one and then go about your day without infringing on another humans RIGHT to make decisions about their own body.

    Let’s reverse the rolls what if a religion said you had to get an abortion on every third child but you aren’t that religion, and in a country where it was built on not being forced to practice government sanctioned religion you were being forced to adhere to religious standards that don’t apply to you. Sounds really ridiculous, huh? Yeah… it’s ridiculous both ways I honestly can’t believe it’s even a conversation anymore you’d think by 2016 we’d all collectively have the critical thinking skills to understand that.

  25. Saras says:

    FYI PP was cleared in the “selling baby parts video” but they only said it a few times after replaying it × 10,000. In fact the people behind the video had edited it to appear that PP were
    terrible tissue sellers to help turn public opinion to defund then (which ended up happening). BTW most abortions are pills now so no tissue harvesting.

  26. Anilehcim says:

    Regardless of what your personal beliefs are, LEGAL abortions for women are necessary because women will always seek them and it is crucial for women to have safe ones available. This is why PP shouldn’t get rid of the practice, plain and simple. For people who hide behind their religious beliefs as a reason to be hateful, I have to pose the question: would you really rather see women die? Why does a fetus matter more than a woman does? Why are we living in 2017 and still surrounded by people who think women aren’t smart or capable enough to make decisions for themselves? You can’t force your will on everyone and no matter what you believe or hope for, women will never stop seeking abortions.

    Religious nuts seem to continue to hope and believe they can wish many things away, but gay people will never stop being gay or fighting to legitimize their relationships the same way heterosexual couples do. Women will never stop having abortions. People will never stop smoking weed. The majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing these 3 hot button issues that played such an important role in our election.. but unfortunately, the American popular opinion doesn’t decide what gets voted in, apparently.

    We all get choices in our lives and at the end of the day, we are responsible for ourselves and in many cases, members of our families as well. But certain choices only a single individual can make, and I will never understand for the life of me why so many people can’t accept that and find it necessary to try to impose their will on others. People who are in support of abortion don’t plan on forcing people to have them, yet people who are against them think their personal feelings should dictate what others can do. It’s really so ridiculous yet an enormous issue that continues to rage on 44 years later.

  27. SusanneToo says:

    @ JCA. Out of all the unwanted babies that were left in safe spaces by women who could not obtain abortions, I’m sure you adopted several, right? Yeah, thought so.

  28. Lena says:

    Because they take their vows as doctors seriously and they know that denying women access to any part of health care, including abortion, is doing them harm. Planned parenthood are often the only accessible option for many women to have an abortion and the alternative for many women either means dangerous back alley abortions or serious health issues, either mental or otherwise, like in the case of Savita Halappanavar who was denied an abortion in Ireland and so slowly, painfully died in hospital while the doctors were ignoring her pleas because her dying foetus wasn’t quite dead yet. If this continues in the USA and planned parenthood gives up on abortions it’s just a matter of time before there is going to be a case like this. Texas already has the highest maternity death rate in the developed world.

  29. minx says:

    If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t. The problem comes when you tell other women what to do with THEIR bodies.

  30. Chaz says:

    @JCA Scaremongering and false facts don’t make your ‘lucrative’ argument true. It doesn’t suit anti-abortionists to see abortion as a tiny cog in the female sexual health agenda.
    Would you have us live in the dark ages of back alley coathanger surgeons again?

    Women will always find a way to help themselves and other women to maintain power over their own choices and bodies.

  31. Joh says:

    Google and watch my sister Gerri.
    That’s really what you want?
    I imagine performing abortions are much less profitable than many other medical procedures.
    And you are harrassesed and can be murdered for it.
    And it is STILL legal.

  32. Kitten says:

    Don’t feed!

  33. jwoolman says:

    I wish they could effectively separate funding for it from all the rest of their services, though. That way they wouldn’t be at risk of losing funding every time there’s a shift in the legislature, and have government funding only for all the rest of their services. If the crazies in charge soon manage to criminalize it again, then PP will have to drop the service anyway as it goes underground again.

    Such a separation probably wouldn’t satisfy the diehards if it happens in the same facility and/or they object to contraception entirely, or if there are government rules that prohibit funding of any of the services involve abortion (they’ve used that against aid to other countries, since Reagan was it?), but it might simplify one aspect of it at least. I dunno, maybe carve out a separate part of the facility and have it owned by someone else….. They are going to have to figure out some way to deal with this problem since Pence is really serious about overturning Roe vs Wade. Contingency plans need to be made now for underground support of women in need.

    I know the costs are tiny compared to all the rest of the health services and we’re talking about a penny or two from each taxpayer. But government funding battles are such a symbol that it would be great if they could get out from under it entirely. The problem of lack of access to health care will be even more acute if Ryan has his way. Small hospitals in non-urban areas will be closing for lack of funds.

  34. Kate says:

    good advice @kitten! Bad for my blood presure anyway.

  35. raptor says:

    THANK YOU.

    They provide abortions because they’re legally allowed to, and, like it or not, abortions are a vital part of women’s health. Women who can’t afford prenatal care can’t afford to go to a doctor’s office to get a referral for an abortion, let alone pay for that abortion. That’s how illegal abortions happen. Planned Parenthood is much more accessible to people with lower incomes, and they provide safe services.

    A recent study showed that abortions still happen at the same rates regardless of legality–that is, outlawing abortions doesn’t prevent them from happening. If women are going to seek abortions anyway, they should be able to do so in a safe, affordable environment.

  36. Rapunzel says:

    Lightpurple- it’s amazing how many folks don’t know this, or don’t care. A woman should never have to go hours away for medical care. All legal procedures should be within easy reach. Abortion is such a procedure. Planned Parenthood is not evil!!

  37. lightpurple says:

    Personally, it is something I would only consider for myself if medically necessary,, which it would have been during the time I was receiving treatment for cancer on medications that increased fertility. Pregnancy would have been life-threatening and would likely not have resulted in a living child. But it is available in my area; unlike other parts of the country.

    In general, I don’t think people realize how inaccessible any real health care can be in huge swaths of this country. Many regions rely on “critical access” hospitals, which can patch your broken leg and stitch you up but if you need hospital care beyond 4 days (also, by law, the ER team doesn’t even have to show up until you’ve been there 30 minutes), you have to go somewhere else. For many, the nearest acute care hospitals (the ones we think of as hospitals) can be a two hour ride away. When I went through my cancer treatment, I had quite a few options for treatment. I worked with the ACS during that time and was amazed to discover that, had I lived elsewhere in this country, I would have likely waited over a month for the initial surgery and would not have had the full range of options – the treatment I received would not have been available in many parts of this country and my cancer would have spread while I waited for the surgery. Planned Parenthood is a lifesaver for many people.

    Also, abortion is not just a religious issue. There are many Christians who have no problem with the concept of legal abortion. There are also many people who practice no religion whatsoever who strongly oppose abortion.

  38. Lingling says:

    Reminds me of when religious people were ranting and raving about the evils of alcohol. Here we are decades later thinking how silly prohibition of alcohol was.

    We could solve a lot of social issues by just taking our hands out of it. If someone who is gay gets married, a woman make a choice to get and abortion or someone smokes weed my day will not be affected unless it’s my husband hogging the weed or an impaired driver who is braking the law so then I do have an opinion.

    Most issues don’t affect everyone so I just don’t understand the kicking and screaming the whole way over and idea that will in joining way affect you.

  39. jc126 says:

    Did PP provide/donate/whatever fetal tissue for research, though? I’ve not been able to find a clear answer for this.

  40. jc126 says:

    Never mind, yes PP does provide tissue for research.

  41. Saras says:

    I like to shock anti abortion men with the phrase ” Cut your @! $# off!” . They are like “What that is crazy?” And I say “Yes it is but it is as crazy as telling women that they can’t control their organ!” Works! Did you know that boner pills will be over the counter soon? Does that seem fair or right to you that women cannot get equal access for their needs?