Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong is lashing out a high school in Connecticut that's banned a student production of the band's hit Broadway musical adaptation of its 2004 album American Idiot.
Administrators at Enfield High School determined that the show's content -- including sex, drug use, violence and profanity -- was not appropriate and shut the production down, though the drama club director told the Hartford Courant that he concurred with the decision mostly because some students' parents did not want their children to be part of the show.
Armstrong responded with an Instagram note to the school saying,
"It has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of American Idiot. 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. I hope you reconsider and allow them to create an amazing night of theater! as they say on Broadway .. 'the show must go on!' rage and love Billie Joe Armstrong. P.S.- I love that your school is called Raiders."
The school had considered a shorted, sanitized version of American Idiot but ultimately opted against it and will present "Little Shop of Horrors" instead.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.