Trump Takes On Broadway After Pence Gets ‘Hamilton’ Lectureby
Cast read statement to VP-elect following Tony-winning musical
Twitter war erupts; critics urge boycott of blockbuster show
President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology from the cast of “Hamilton” after his second-in-command, Mike Pence, was singled out following a performance of the Broadway hit.
“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” Trump said Saturday on Twitter from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he’s meeting with several administration hopefuls and members of his transition committee.
Pence, 57, attended the musical, about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury secretary, in Manhattan on Friday night with members of his family. As the vice president-elect was leaving the Richard Rogers Theatre during the curtain-call, Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr, thanked Pence for attending, and said, “we hope you will hear us out.”
As scattered boos rang out from the audience, Dixon said, “there is nothing to boo here. We are all sharing a story of love.”
Dixon then read a prepared statement on behalf of the multiracial, multicultural cast and crew of the show, which won 11 Tony Awards this year. The comments were written by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail and lead producer Jeffrey Seller.
‘Alarmed and Anxious’
“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,” Dixon said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Pence had been seated in the center-orchestra section of the theater, according to the New York Times, and had appeared to enjoy the show.
Trump, who is spending the weekend at his Bedminster resort, west of New York City, added in a second tweet, “The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
A spokesman for “Hamilton” told the Associated Press that the vice president-elect had left the auditorium when Dixon started speaking but stood in the hallway and heard the full message.
Dixon later responded to Trump, “@realDonaldTrump conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen.”
Also weighing in was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a supporter of Trump’s. “The arrogance and hostility of the Hamilton cast to the Vice President elect (a guest at the theater) is a reminder the left still fights,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter.
The hashtag #boycotthamilton trended higher Saturday on the social media site as those critical of the comments to Pence did battle with others who supported the action.
Trump also addressed his decision Friday to pay $25 million to settled claims that his defunct Trump University cheated students with false promises of teaching them his real estate secrets. In settling, Trump avoided a potentially distracting trial that was set to start in 10 days.
“I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country,” the president-elect said on Twitter.
“The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!”
(An earlier version corrected garble in first Trump University quote.)