'Hamilton' Cast Pleads to VP-Elect Mike Pence, Donald Trump Demands Apology
The election aftermath continues. In the wake of post-election commentary from Kanye West and Macklemore, the cast of Hamilton delivered a strong message to Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Friday (Nov. 18).
Stopping the future veep before he left the theater, the play’s star Brandon Victor Dixon — who plays Aaron Burr — offered a brief speech.
“Vice President-elect Pence, welcome. Thank you for joining us at Hamilton – An American Musical,” he said. “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, sir. But we hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us.”
Pence has been criticized by some for his conservative views, including work towards anti-gay legislation in Indiana. This was particularly striking since actor Javier Muñoz, who stars as Alexander Hamilton, is gay and HIV positive, as per Rolling Stone.
Following the performance, President-elect Donald Trump claimed that Pence was “harassed.” “Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing,” he tweeted. “This should not happen!
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” he added. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
Dixon responded: “conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen.”
— Brandon Victor Dixon (@BrandonVDixon) November 19, 2016
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 19, 2016
Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller explained that he joined Miranda and the rest of the cast in making the statement to Pence.
“The cast, the creators, we all felt that we must express our feelings to vice president-elect Pence,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is not a normal time, this is not a normal election. This has not been a normal result. And in a democracy, one must let his and her voice be heard, and we were not going to the show tonight without expressing how we feel. Everybody should be able to see this show, regardless of their politics, but it does just so happen that the politics of this administration have been so negative toward minorities, people of color, gay people that we felt the need to speak up. As a cast comprised of minorities, women, gay people, it was necessary. We had to speak. We had to express how we feel.”