The 70-year-old President-elect had tweeted that Pence “was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing” — before calling for an apology from the cast.
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” he wrote. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
Pence, 57 — who has been a crusader for anti-LGBTQ legislation throughout his career — paid a visit to the hottest musical on Broadway and received heavy boos from the audience upon his arrival.
Broadway has been a safe-haven for the LGBTQ community for years — accepting, employing and championing many of its members. Hamilton itself stars a diverse cast lead by Javier Muñoz in the title role — an openly gay, HIV-positive actor.
During a post-curtain call speech at New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Broadway cast addressed him directly and asked the audience not to boo, saying “we’re all sharing a story of love.”
“We welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical — we really do,” Brandon Victor Dixon — who plays former vice president Aaron Burr in the show — said. “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, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us.”
Video of the speech quickly went viral online — with many weighing in throughout the evening and into early morning as to whether Trump’s harassment claims were justified.
Alec Baldwin — who plays Trump on Saturday Night Live — noted that “all dissent is harassment to [Trump]” — before saying “2020 is coming.”
“A lecture? A request for a peaceful 4 years? I’m so sorry they had to endure that,” tweeted Chrissy Teigen. “You cannot pretend real life s— isn’t happening.”
“Look who wants a f—— safe space now,” she continued. “The very thing him and his supporters make fun of as liberal political correctness. God, what a POS”
She added: “Donald knows very well what he is doing. He knows the Hamilton speech was NBD. He knows his tweet will fire both sides up to distract from the 25 million dollar settlement of yesterday. Most conniving human on planet earth.”
Gay rights advocate George Takei said that Trump should actually be the one to apologize.
“AMERICA must always be a safe and special place,” he wrote. “The Trump administration has been very cruel to many good people. Apologize!”
“If Trump gets upset at a NY theater audience booing his VP, imagine what he’ll feel like on inauguration when millions cry out against him,” he said.
Model Brooklyn Decker called for Trump to stop tweeting, writing “Someone please take away his Twitter. It’s time.”
“President & VP Elect Trump and Pence feel harassed when politely asked to respect Americans’ equality and inalienable rights. Telling,” wrote former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. “@realDonaldTrump wants a safe space in the theater for his team, while he threatens the inalienable rights of Americans across the country.”
Chicago Med star and Broadway vet Colin Donnell alluded to Trump’s previous bad behavior.
“It’s ok Donald it’s just ‘Theatre Talk,’ ” he wrote. “Sorta like ‘locker room talk’ except in that it was completely thought out and respectful.”
“I know the booing upsets some of you,” he wrote. “But this is what happens when you run on a platform of hate. When you spend a year demonizing races and faiths. When your running mate teases assassinating and jailing his rival. When you openly supported conversion therapy for Gays.”
“I personally would never boo someone at the a theater,” he added. “But this feels different.”
Other people who spoke out where Republican pundit Ana Navarro, the N.Y.C. Mayor’s Office — and even Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.
The Hamilton staff received a request from Pence to attend Friday’s performance earlier that afternoon, producer Jeffrey Seller told The Hollywood Reporter.
“The cast, the creators, we all felt that we must express our feelings to vice president-elect Pence. This is not a normal time, this is not a normal election,” Seller said. “This has not been a normal result. And in a democracy, one must let his and her voice be heard, and we were not going to the show tonight without expressing how we feel.”
“Everybody should be able to see this show, regardless of their politics,” he continued. “But it does just so happen that the politics of this administration have been so negative toward minorities, people of color, gay people that we felt the need to speak up. As a cast comprised of minorities, women, gay people, it was necessary. We had to speak. We had to express how we feel.”