This Billie Joe Armstrong article was written by Ben Kendall, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has accused Enfield High School officials of censorship, after the cancellation of the band’s broadway musical ‘American Idiot’.
Students at the high school in Connecticut, US, had prepared to perform the punk rock opera, however some of the student’s parents expressed a considerable amount of concern towards the ‘suitability’ of the play, as it is reported to contain profanity, sex and drug use. According to the director of the school’s drama club, Nate Ferreira, the decision was made to cancel the musical by he and the principal.
“It was a decision that the principal and I arrived at together because there were some kids in the group whose parents didn’t want them involved,”Ferreira said. “There’s some heavy drug use and graphic sex scenes, not things we were going to depict to the extent they did in the original show.”
Billie Joe sent an open letter to the school via an Instagram post, criticising their decision, citing censorship as his major issue with the show’s cancellation.
“It has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of ‘American Idiot,'” Armstrong said. “I realize the content of the Broadway production of ‘AI’ is not quite ‘suitable’ for a younger audience. However there is a high school rendition of the production and I believe that’s the one Enfield was planning to perform which is suitable for most people.
“It would be a shame if these high schoolers were shut down over some of the content that may be challenging for some of the audience. But the bigger issue is censorship. this production tackles issues in a post 9/11 world and I believe the kids should be heard. and most of all be creative in telling a story about our history.“
The school is planning a production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, in replacement of ‘American Idiot’. But hopefully, in the punk rock spirit of ‘AI’, the kids won’t take too nicely to this decision…