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Trump demands apology for ‘Hamilton’ harangue

‘Hamilton’ actor Brandon Victor Dixon called out Mike Pence from the stage after Broadway performance


 
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015.  (Dominick Reuter/Reuters)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters)

NEW YORK – President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday demanded an apology from the cast member who gave Mike Pence an onstage earful about equality.

Actor Brandon Victor Dixon told Pence after the curtain call that multiracial and multicultural cast is concerned about the Trump administration.

“We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” said Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice-president. “We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

Pence, a Republican, ducked out before Dixon finished the unprecedented message but heard the full remarks from the hallway outside the auditorium.

“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theatre by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The theatre must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”

The atmosphere was tense from the time the vice-president-elect arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, triggering both cheers and boos as he slipped into row F in the prime orchestra seats. After the curtain-call, Dixon called Pence out from the stage, with the cast behind him.

“Vice-President-elect Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen,” Dixon said.. “We’re all here sharing a story about love.”

Outside, many protesters jeered, including one woman who held up a sign with a line from the musical that always gets a cheer: “Immigrants, we get the job done.” Dixon’s speech, which ended with a plea to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, brought down the house.

“Hamilton,” which won 11 Tony Awards, has been praised by politicians and rap stars alike, influenced the debate over the nation’s currency and burst through the Broadway bubble like none other.

The first family has been big boosters of the show. President Barack Obama took daughters Sasha and Malia to see it last year after first lady Michelle Obama caught it last spring. Pence’s predecessor, Vice-President Joe Biden, also has seen it.

The show is by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical’s book, music and lyrics. It stresses the orphan, immigrant roots of Hamilton and has a terrifically varied score, ranging from pop ballads to gospel to sexy R&B. It has been cheered for reclaiming the nation’s founding story by a multicultural cast.

The Alexander Hamilton that Pence saw was Javier Munoz, an openly gay actor. Pence supported numerous efforts to ban gay marriage as governor of Indiana and opposed unfettered federal funding for HIV and AIDS treatment.

After Pence left, Jeffrey Seller, the show’s lead producer, said he hopes the politician would share the show’s message of empathy: “I hope that maybe it inspires him to feel for those not like him.”

Seller, a Tony Award winner who has produced such shows as “Rent” and “Avenue Q,” said such notable Republicans as former Vice-President Dick Cheney and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan have come to “Hamilton.”

“This show is absolutely for Republicans as well as Democrats, and we would like to host any Republican who would like to see the show,” he said.


 

Trump demands apology for ‘Hamilton’ harangue

  1. It was a fine speech, delivered respectfully. Unlike Trump’s harangues. If the man wants to know what harassment or rudeness looks like, he should watch clips of his own speeches. Until he can keep his own mouth in check, he has no right to criticize others.

    It certainly does raise concerns about free speech under the next administration, though.

  2. Trump will not allow dissension period. That is the message that he is getting out. Scary. He is already debasing the office of “president elect” with his childish tweets. Buckle up guys.

  3. Nose out of joint micromanaging dictator.
    God help america

  4. When Hillary Clinton attended the play recently prior to the election, she was welcomed back-stage after the performance with hugs and kisses.
    Notice that the “lecture” given to VP-Elect Pence when he was a guest at the play was delivered by a black actor. Pence is wise to minimize the insult for had he objected, he would have been accused of racism.
    Trump reaction was proper because he was reacting to the insult to Pence and is immune to the charge of racism because it has been used against him so often that it no longer resonates.

    • Yes, he was black. And the lead role was played by a gay, Hispanic man. People who have much to fear from President-elect Trump’s government.

      But an insult? Hardly. The message was delivered respectfully – unlike the vast majority of Trump’s speeches and tweets (including his tweeted comments on this play). They asked that the soon-to-be VP, and the Trump administration as a whole, respect minorities and minority rights (among other things). Given Pence’s record as governor, and the appointees chosen by Trump, it is easy to understand how they may be concerned that their rights will not be respected.

      Pence has, by his past actions, hurt and offended many of those who were performing onstage that night. The Trump administration promises to hurt them even more. Why shouldn’t they have their say? After all, Pence chose to come into their house to watch a show widely praised for its multiculturalism – something he, by his own actions, opposes.

      If Pence – or Trump – can’t take a little push-back when they pass laws that outright hurt others, then they don’t belong in politics.

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