Billie Joe Armstrong penned a powerful response to a Connecticut high school’s decision to call off a production of the musical American Idiot, based off the Green Day album of the same name. Armstrong challenged the cancellation, arguing that the high school’s choice to not host the production is an issue of censorship.
“I realize that the content of the Broadway production of [American Idiot] is not quite ‘suitable for a younger audience,” Armstrong wrote in his Instagram post addressed to the Enfield High School board. “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.”
According to The New York Times, Enfield High School cited sex, drugs and foul language as the reason why the show was cancelled. “The bigger issue is censorship,” Armstrong continued in his note. “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.”
Enfield’s drama club director Nate Ferreira responded to Armstrong’s plea that “the show must go on” in an interview with The Hartford Courant. “It wasn’t the school board as he thinks that forced us to not do the show,” Ferreira stated. “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.” The high school will perform Little Shop of Horrors instead.