Mike Pence Booed at Hamilton as Cast Member Tells Him: 'We Are the Diverse America Who Are Alarmed'
During the curtain call at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Broadway cast addressed the attendance of the vice president-elect, with actor Brandon Victor Dixon delivering a statement.
“I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us,” Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, said. He told the audience, “There’s nothing to boo here, 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,” he continued. “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.”
He concluded by telling Pence: “We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”
Dixon, who has been nominated for a Tony Award twice, urged the audience not to be negative toward Pence and Trump supporters.
“We don’t have to fight one another. The beautiful part of this country is … we don’t have to agree, but we gotta live here, baby, and share with one another.”
The production received a request from Pence to attend Friday’s performance earlier that afternoon, according to producer Jeffrey Seller who 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.”
Pence has been criticized by fans of the musical for his anti-gay legislation. Two actors in the production are openly gay: Rory O’Malley, who plays King George, and Javier Muñoz, who replaced Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton and is H.I.V. positive.
Josh Gad, who rose to fame in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, also shared a response to Pence’s visit.
As governor of Indiana, Pence opposed gay marriage, signing a bill that made it legal for business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers, citing religious freedom.
Pence left the theater during intermission and did not return to his seat until after intermission ended, in the middle of “What’d I Miss?” according to THR.
Several aspects of the show were different or amplified. O’Malley stopped the show with the line: “When people say they hate you, don’t come crawling back to me.”
Miranda’s father, Luis, tweeted after the video began trending on Twitter, writing “Did he @mike_pence learn anything tonite? He got our frustration & fear…Applause, kisses & hugs to a strong cast!!!”
On Saturday, President-elect Donald Trump claimed Pence was “harassed” at Hamilton.
“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing,” Trump tweeted. “This should not happen!”
Trump’s campaign manager also addressed Pence’s reception at the musical, retweeting Joe Scarborough who shared an old quote from President Barack Obama saying that he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman.
“‘I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. For me as a Christian.’ -Pres Obama,” Scarborough wrote. “Was he booed on Broadway his 1st term?”
“This is so true. And @mike_pence deserves respect and a peaceful night out with his nephew and daughter. #yourvicepresident,” Conway responded.