(PCM) The cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton” recently stirred up quite a bit of controversy when they made the decision to call out Vice President elect Mike Pence, who was attending a performance, on some issues they had regarding his election platforms. When Pence first entered the theater there was a mixture of both cheers and jeers, but that is not that surprising, however many feel that Pence should not have been put on the spot in such a way.
During curtain call perform Brandon Victor Dixon (who plays Aaron Burr in the show) noticed that Pence was about to make his exit from the theater and stopped him with a message from the cast. Dixon explained to Pence that the cast of “Hamilton” represents a very diverse group of individuals that tell this particular American story. He reiterated that they were alarmed by the income administration, people of all colors, creeds, and orientations—and urged him to uphold their “inalienable rights.”
Many felt that this was neither the time nor the place for Pence to be called-out, so to say, on these types of issues, while others feel that the “Hamilton” cast took a brave step exercising their right to free speech. Dixon told Broadway.com,”It was a message from the producers the creative and the cast. If you have differences, say something! What better place than on this stage telling this story with these people? I hope he thinks of us every time he has to deal with an issue or talk about a bill or present anything.” On the other hand, it is hard to even begin to imagine what Pence much have felt like in that moment, as it could be viewed as a form of public harassment.
President-Elect Trump was not pleased by the entire ordeal and took to his Twitter account to urge the “Hamilton” cast to issue an apology to Mike Pence. Some Trump supporters were even calling for a boycott of the “Hamilton” show. Pence himself released a statement saying “I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know that this is a very anxious time for some people. My daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. Hamilton is just an incredible production and incredibly talented people. It was a real joy to be there.” He also went on to say that he “wasn’t offended” by the cast’s statement at the curtain call, or the audience’s booing as he entered the theater: “I nudged my kids and reminded them, that’s what freedom sounds like”.
“Hamilton” actor Dixon appeared on CBS This Morning to further address some of the controversy saying there was nothing to apologize for and the statement was important to them and they wanted it. He further commented “Art is meant to bring people together, it’s meant to raise consciousness. And when you have a platform…I told [Hamilton producer] Jeffrey Seller after the show, I said, ‘I applaud you all for not throwing away your shot, for taking a moment to spread your message of love and unity.” They have also invited President-Elect Trump out to see a show, as they feel it is truly important for everyone to see a show like theirs, as it’s power in truly undeniable. Sounds great, if we could ever find tickets!!
Do you think that the cast and crew of “Hamilton” went too far by putting Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on the spot, especially in front of his children and loved ones? Or do you feel that the cast of “Hamilton” used their platform wisely to get a point across?