On Friday, November 18, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was met with cheers and boos when he attended the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Two videos surfaced that evening, sending the news media and the internet into a frenzy. The first video showed the audience reaction to Pence’s arrival and the other showed the Hamilton cast addressing him during the curtain call. Cast member Brandon Victor Dixon delivered a heartfelt statement on behalf of the company, welcoming Pence and asking him to “work on behalf of all of us.” Brandon also told the audience, “There’s nothing to boo here; we’re all sharing a story of love.”
We encourage you to take a brief moment to watch this 1 minute and 22 second video of the Hamilton cast addressing Vice President-elect Pence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWlwrUFiuUw&feature=share
Being elected to the highest office in America did not stop Donald Trump from posting a number of tweets lashing out at the cast and demanding an apology. He also posted and deleted a tweet that he wrote about Brandon, but don’t worry the Twitterverse always keeps receipts and screenshots of the deleted tweet still made its way around social media. Many feel that Trump’s tweets were posted to distract us from the fact that he just agreed to pay a $25 million settlement for civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University. Don’t cry for Trump, this settlement will actually be a tax write-off for him.
In retaliation of the incident that occurred during Friday’s performance, Trump supporters created the hashtag #BoycottHamilton. The show, which won 11 Tony awards including Best Musical, currently has sold out productions in New York and Chicago. If a boycott does happen they’ll have to wait until tickets are available again next spring. On Fox News Sunday, Pence stated that he was not offended by the statement from the cast.
Question of the Week: Do you think it was appropriate for the Hamilton cast to address Vice President-elect Pence during the curtain call?
Kat’s Take: Knowing Pence’s stance on gay conversion therapy, his efforts to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood and the current civil unrest in the country, I think the cast saw a golden opportunity to address concerns that a lot of people are having at the moment. What better way to get the undivided attention of the next Vice President of the United States than in a theater filled with a diverse cast and audience. A diverse cast and audience that represents various races, sexual orientations and ethnicities in this country. It’s too bad that president-elect Trump saw this as an attack instead of seeing this as American citizens asking to be heard and treated fairly and equally.
Matt’s Take: Hamilton is a musical that has a diverse cast playing white characters, because that’s the way America looks now. We are a melting pot of races and cultures, and we’re a stronger nation because of it. We’re also a nation that values free speech, and the theater should always be a place where we can express new and different perspectives, and share them with each other. There could not have been a more appropriate place for this statement to have been made, or a more appropriate group of Americans to have made it.