Trump claims cast of Hamilton “harassed” Mike Pence

The vice President-elect was booed as he attended the hit Broadway musical this weekend

Mike Pence became the subject of backlash during a recent visit to the Broadway musical Hamilton.

The Vice President-elect was met with boos and jeers from the audience as he took his seat at the popular hit show in Manhattan on Friday night.

The incident did not go unnoticed by the cast and crew of the musical, who made a statement directly to Mr. Pence at the end of the show.

“We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us”, said actor Brandon Victor Dixon. “But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us”.

Dixon, who plays Vice President Aaron Burr in the show, went on to describe it as a “wonderful American story, told by a diverse group of men, women, of different colours, creeds, and orientations”. This drew a massive reaction from the audience, who were encouraged to record and post the statement online.

In response to the incident, Donald Trump took to Twitter and accused the Hamilton cast of harassing Pence, and called on them for an apology.

“Our wonderful future VP Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theatre by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” tweeted Trump on Saturday morning.

Dixon later responded to Trump’s tweet, remarking that “conversation is not harassment”.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda had publicly endorsed Clinton in the election, and held a benefit showing of the musical in July for her campaign, but reminded people on Twitter that everyone is welcome at his show.

The hip-hop musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, who rose from his humble immigrant upbringing to become George Washington’s right hand man.

Hamilton‘s politics stand in stark contrast to those proposed by Trump and Pence in recent months – notably its celebration of diversity and the recurring refrain of “immigrants – we get the job done”.

The show has had unprecedented success since its debut in 2015, earning 11 Tony awards, a Grammy, and a Pulitzer Prize. Donald Trump, however, stated that he hears Hamilton is “highly overrated”.

His barrage of tweets came amid meetings on Saturday with possible candidates for White House and cabinet positions.

This incident also distracted from the news which broke this weekend that the President-elect had reportedly settled for $25 million in the Trump University case.

Trump was due in court at the end of the month over claims that his institution, which was not an accredited university or college, had misled and exploited its students for financial gain.

Earlier this year, Trump said he would not settle the case, insisting that the training programme had a 98% approval rating.

“Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,” New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Minister Leo Varadkar described the incident at Hamilton as “beautiful and moving”. Speaking on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show, the Social Protection Minister praised the show’s cast for taking a stance.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, however, received criticism for his support of Mike Pence this week, claiming that “he certainly knows Ireland and the issues that matter to our people”.

While Donald Trump has stolen most of the spotlight during the Presidential campaign, Pence has come under fire for sticking by the President-elect in the wake of his controversies, and indeed for some controversies of his own.

The former Indiana Governor is known for being a strong conservative and evangelical Christian, with controversial views on LGBT rights and immigration policy, a total opposition to abortion and sexual education, and also denies the legitimacy of climate change.

Pence finally broke his silence on the events at Hamilton on Sunday morning, however, stating on Fox News that he “wasn’t offended” by what had happened and that he “really enjoyed the show”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s