What the Greatest Showman got wrong

In the popular new movie The Greatest Showman, it tells the story of P.T. Barnum, but got a lot of facts incorrect. One of them is that the movie doesn’t even bring up the controversial act starring many African-Americans. This was controversial because it appalled many people that African-Americans were allowed to be featured in the show. This is such a big part of P.T. Barnum’s story, it should have been included in the movie. A second fact is that the bearded lady, in real life named Annie Jones, actually was featured at the museum for 36 years since age 1 before Barnum’s famous circus. Jones was brought to the museum to work there because her parents needed the money. She was called the ‘Infant Esau’. A third fact is that Charles Sherwood Stratton, better known General Tom Thumb, was first showcased at age 4 in Barnum’s museum at the height of 25 inches. Lastly, The Greatest Showman shows Jenny Lind as a woman who quits her American tour because P.T. Barnum rejects he as a love interest while in real life she quit because she wasn’t comfortable with the way Barnum was advertising her. Jenny Lind was never romantically involved with Barnum and would never try to be with a married man. Lind was not known for her looks, yet she had suitors coming from all directions, even Hans Christian Andersen. While they got some facts incorrect, The Greatest Showman is still a wonderful movie because it is an entertaining story.


Works Cited

Cunningham, Sean. “P.T. Barnum’s Most Famous ‘Freaks’.” Real Clear Life, www.realclearlife.com/history/p-t-barnums-famous-freaks/.

Florio, Angelica. “P.T. Barnum’s Actual Story Is Even Wilder Than The Movie.” Bustle,