It has a special meaning in theatre parlance, to “break the fourth wall” — it is rarely done on Broadway or anywhere else (save intentionally genre-breaking shows like Parks & Recreation and The Office… but I digress). That the Hamilton cast did it was significant, and important for all the reasons described. It also has greater recency and thus psychologically feels more important to people, which makes it a lucrative prospect for media organizations that live and die by the pageview.
Mind you it’s an empirical argument: that emotionally resonating stories are going to tend to be chosen by media institutions operating in today’s A/B tested, performance-optimized world. Whether that should be normative is another matter (I would actually argue that it probably shouldn’t be as relatively highly weighted of a criteria as it is, within overall editorial consideration).