Navigation

‘Hamilton’ cast’s plea to VP-elect ignites debate

The Associated Press

Protesters shout slogans at Vice President-elect Mike Pence as he leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a performance of “Hamilton” in New York on Friday.

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology from the cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” a day after an actor in the hit show delivered a pointed message about diversity to his running mate who was in attendance. The speech aimed at Mike Pence prompted angry responses from liberals and conservatives alike — underscoring yet again the fractious aftermath of the 2016 election.

The bitter back-and-forth came after the vice president-elect caught Friday night’s performance of “Hamilton” with his nephew and daughter. A mixture of boos and cheers could be heard inside the theater as Pence took his seat. When the show ended, Pence was asked by a cast member to hear a prepared speech after the curtain call from the multiracial and multicultural cast, saying it is concerned about the Trump administration.

“We, sir, we 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 Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice president, as his fellow actors joined hands. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

The unusual address quickly went viral and Trump on Saturday tweeted that it was “very rude,” arguing that Pence was “harassed” and theater “must always be a safe and special place.” He urged the cast to apologize. Dixon responded on Twitter that “conversation is not harassment sir” and added that he appreciated Pence stopping to listen.

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

Trump transition officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for the show said none of the cast members would be available to speak Saturday.

Melissa Kremholz, of Indianapolis, the capital of Pence’s home state of Indiana, attended the show Friday night and was seeing it again Saturday afternoon. She said she could see how Dixon’s speech might be interpreted as impolite and gave Pence credit for coming, but backed the Broadway cast’s right to explain how uneasy many Americans feel.

“I think it was really important for them to speak what they had to say because the whole musical talks about how our country came to be and our American values and how our country was built on immigrants and people of all different backgrounds,” she said. “I think it’s really important that they actually spoke their minds and I think they did so very respectfully, too.”Speech

Click to play

0:00/-:--

+ -

Generating speech. Please wait...

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Offline error: please try again.