The Walking Dead‘s leading lady opened up about supporting the cast of Hamilton and their actions following their polarizing performance at Richard Rodgers Theatre on Nov. 18.
“I am deeply appreciative of [Hamilton creator] Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brandon Victor Dixon and the entire company of Hamilton because what they did should rouse all of us in the creative community to action, and awaken the giant in us all,” she wrote in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. “We must not choose complacency. As storytellers, we must focus on inclusion, diversity and equality like never before, and we must ask ourselves, ‘Where do we stand and how will we fight for our values?’ ”
“The company of Hamilton seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and in that moment, they expressed the voices and concerns of many,” Gurira continued. “It was a war cry …. We must be resilient, tactical and fearless, and make use of every platform we possess to truly become the change we still believe in.”
Gurira, whose Tony Award-winning play Eclipsed starring Lupita Nyong’o focuses on four young African women caught up in the Liberian civil war, went on to say that a theater is “a sacred place” where “voices are heard.”
“The theater is a living, breathing exchange between artist and audience,” she wrote. “It is a sacred space — when you walk in, you are in the hands of those who have labored to craft the performance. And it is often a place where societal discomforts are confronted, where disenfranchised voices are heard, where freedoms are expressed and protected.”
Gurira, 38, also explained why she feels the American people “are scared” for their uncertain futures and how they have every right to voice their concerns to politicians.
“It is crucial to understand the effect that the 2016 presidential campaign had on many Americans: People are scared that the divisive rhetoric used by the president-elect may be turned into legislation by our Congress, and may even justify hatred and exclusion,” she wrote. “Freedom of speech does not exist in some other parts of the world, and it must be protected.”
“We cannot allow it to be threatened here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave — especially by those who bear the responsibility of leading us,” she continued.
RELATED VIDEO: Mike Pence ‘Wasn’t Offended’ by Hamilton Address
Following the headline-making Hamilton show, Pence set the record straight that he “wasn’t offended” by what the cast had to say to him.
“My daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. Hamilton is just an incredible production and incredibly talented people,” the 57-year-old said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. “It was a real joy to be there. When we arrived, we heard a few boos and we heard some cheers, and I nudged my kids and reminded them that’s what freedom sounds like.”