'The bigger issue is censorship,' Bille Joe Armstrong says

By Oliver Gettell
January 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has publicly challenged a Connecticut high school’s decision to cancel a student production of the punk musical American Idiot, based on his band’s 2004 album.

After Enfield High School staff put the kibosh on the show for its sex, drugs, and profanity, Armstrong posted an open letter to the school board on Instagram.

“I realize the content of the Broadway production of A.I. is not quite ‘suitable’ for a younger audience,” Armstrong wrote. “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.”

He continued, “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.”

Representatives for the school could not be reached for immediate comment. Nate Ferreira, the school’s drama club director, told the Hartford Courant that he and Enfield’s principal — not the school board — made the decision to scrap American Idiot. The students will perform Little Shop of Horrors instead.

American Idiot tells a story of frustrated youth and suburban ennui set against the backdrop of the George W. Bush administration. It premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California and ran for a year on Broadway.