Mike Pence attended a Friday evening performance of the musical Hamilton, and received boos from the audience, as well as a “welcome” speech from Brandon Victor Dixon, who currently plays the third U.S. Vice President, Aaron Burr, in the hit Broadway musical about the life of one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.
President-elect, Donald Trump, took to Twitter on Saturday to call Dixon’s speech harassment, and asked for an apology from all of the Hamilton cast. Following Trump’s tweet, that called the cast of Hamilton “very rude,” several celebrities also took to Twitter to voice their own opinions about Trump’s call for an apology to Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, along with Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who tweeted that he’s proud of @HamiltonMusical and @BrandonDixon.
Dixon’s entire message to Mike Pence can be viewed on YouTube, where he first says that “we have a guest in the audience this evening.” Dixon goes on to say, while standing on the stage with the rest of the Hamilton cast during a curtain call, that he hopes Mike Pence will “hear us for just a few more moments.” After the Hamilton star pulled the message from a side pocket, he encouraged the audience to pull out their phones and “tweet and post,” because the message “needed to be spread far and wide.”
Brandon Victor Dixon, 35, only addressed Mike Pence for just a few short minutes, saying that the American musical Hamilton is “alarmed and anxious” that the new administration, with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, will not protect the “diverse America,” or “our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us, and uphold our inalienable rights.” The “diverse America” that Dixon referred to was undoubtedly the LGBTQ community, as reported by People Magazine on Saturday.
Obviously, the audience at New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre did take out their phones, because Hamilton’s message to Mike Pence quickly went viral online, causing Donald Trump to take to his personal Twitter account to demand an apology to Mike Pence, saying that “the cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence.”
Trump, who spent a good portion of his 2016 presidential campaign being rude, leading fellow Republican candidates Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, as well as Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in incivility, according to Fortune Magazine back in February, was immediately criticized by several celebrities, including Trump target Rosie O’Donnell, who said that Trump’s call for an apology to Mike Pence is “rich — coming from you.”
Trump and O’Donnell have been in an ongoing feud since 2006, according to the New York Times — a feud that Trump often revisited during his presidential campaign. Trump also never once apologized to O’Donnell, even saying in a presidential debate that the 54-year-old comedian and actress “deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.” George Takei, 79, an American actor and gay rights advocate, also took to Twitter to say that the “Trump administration has been very cruel to many good people. Apologize!”
American fashion model and actress, 29-year-old Brooklyn Decker, actually pleaded for someone to take Trump’s Twitter away, and former CIA operations officer and 2016 independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin, tweeted agreement with the Hamilton cast, that Donald Trump and Mike Pence “threatens the inalienable rights of Americans across the country,” and shouldn’t be asking for a “safe space” in the theater themselves.
Even Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, took to Twitter to defend the cast of Hamilton and Brandon Victor Dixon for “leading with love,” also saying that everyone is welcome at the theater.
The Hamilton staff reportedly received a request from Mike Pence last Friday afternoon to attend the Hamilton performance Friday evening, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which gave the cast plenty of time to write out a message to the Vice President-elect, who’s been known for his anti-gay legislation. Hamilton has two openly-gay cast members, both Rory O’Malley and Javier Munoz, and Hamilton producer, Jeffrey Seller, said that since the cast is “comprised of minorities, women, gay people, it was necessary. We had to speak. We had to express how we feel.”
Dixon even took to Twitter on Saturday to respond to Donald Trump’s demand for an apology to Mike Pence, saying that “conversation is not harassment sir.” Dixon went on to thank Mike Pence for stopping to listen.
#BoycottHamilton has now become a trending hashtag across social media, as Donald Trump and Mike Pence supporters urge a boycott against Hamilton, even though future shows are sold out for the “foreseeable future.”
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]