Vice President-elect Mike Pence got more than he bargained for at a Friday night performance of the Broadway hit Hamilton. Reportedly, when he made his way to his seat, flanked by members of the U.S. Secret Service, Mike Pence was met with a chorus of boos from the Hamilton audience.
Accounts of the Friday evening Hamilton vs. Mike Pence fiasco vary depending on who’s telling the story, reports NBC News. The most popular version of the tale to hit social media, however, indicates that the audience saw the new VP-elect and his entourage heading to seats near the front of the theater, and they opted to loudly recognize Mike Pence as a group. Reportedly, Pence was loudly and roundly booed by the Hamilton audience, with a few rounds of applause thrown in for good measure.
“There was definitely more of a mixed reaction, but boos did drown out the clapping. But there was no doubt his presence was felt throughout the show.”
Most Hamilton audience members who witnessed the pre-show Pence “attack” agreed that the boos definitely overwhelmed the applause, and many witnesses captured the telling display on video and shared what they’d seen on social media.
Eventually, the pre-show Mike Pence drama waned and Hamilton went on. Some in attendance claimed that Mike Pence’s unexpected appearance and the audience’s initial reaction to him left the remainder of the show mired in the feeling of “his presence.”
After the Friday night performance of Hamilton came to an end, theatergoers and Mike Pence alike were quickly to learn that the VP-elect wasn’t done receiving special attention at the theater. Rather, after the show, the cast of Hamilton addressed Pence personally, led by Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the show.
Reportedly, Dixon appeared to be reading from a prepared statement as he addressed Mike Pence from the stage. Pence had been on the verge of making a clean getaway, but it wasn’t to be. To his credit, the former Indiana governor stayed and heard Dixon out.
“Vice President-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out, but I hope you will hear just a few more minutes. We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our friends, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Dixon’s words went on for a few more lines and were greeted by cheers from the same crow that had booed Mike Pence, as Pence hastily retreated from the theater. When he made it outside, the VP-elect was greeted by more protesters, many holding signs, reports the New York Times.
In the aftermath of the Hamilton vs. Mike Pence Friday night face-off, an interaction that almost immediately went viral, Donald Trump took to Twitter to chastise the Hamilton cast and demand an apology for his running-mate. The controversial president-elect also appeared to call out the audience that greeted Pence with a resounding chorus of boos upon his entry.
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump’s words and demands were not met with positive responses from the current or former cast of Hamilton, including Brandon Victor Dixon, who addressed Mike Pence, directly, from the stage.
Dixon got some support from a former Hamilton co-star.
Another former co-star, Christopher Jackson, didn’t just defend his Hamilton brethren, but he demanded an apology from Trump for the things he said and promoted during his presidential campaign.
And as of Sunday night, the debate is still raging on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Many think it’s ironic that Mike Pence, a politician who has made a name for himself working vehemently to deny the rights of the LGBTQ community by fighting same-sex marriage legality, introducing controversial legislation to legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community, and even trying to divert HIV research funding to so-called “conversion therapy” programs, would spend his Friday night kicking back and enjoying a performance of Hamilton.
If you’re unaware, Hamilton‘s cast is blatantly and unapologetically diverse, filled with numerous members of the LGBTQ and immigrant communities. The titular role is even played by an HIV-positive gay man.
In all, the cast of Hamilton, which is a hip-hop retelling of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, is something of a cross-section of the community that has been protesting the Trump/Pence win since election night. If Mike Pence’s less-than-warm welcome by the Friday night Hamilton crowd is any indication, the show’s audience may have an unfavorable opinion of the nation’s new leadership as well.
With social media still lit up over the Hamilton/Mike Pence drama, what is your take on what went down? Take the poll below to share your opinion.
It’s unlikely the Mike Pence/Hamilton drama is over; boycotts have been swirling all over social media, and Trump is still demanding that apology, so stay tuned for more updates.
[Featured Image by Andres Kudacki/AP Images]