By Brian Klose
This week’s hero of the week is the current Broadway cast of “Hamilton.” On Nov. 18, the cast voiced their concerns about the direction of the country under President-elect Donald Trump’ administration to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in attendance at that night’s performance. Following the remarks, Trump and his supporters denounced the cast’s peaceful call for unity as harassment, and demanded apologies from the entire production.
Trump and Pence fail to accept the level of scrutiny that comes with becoming the next president and vice president of the United States. Instead of listening to a group representing all Americans, the Trump administration is setting itself up to be a group that silences and censors, damning those who would go so far as to hope that it keeps its promises.
After the final bows of that night’s performance, Brandon Victor Dixon, who currently plays the role of Aaron Burr, made a point to acknowledge Pence’s presence and took the opportunity to address the worries of many Americans.
“We, sir — 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,” Dixon said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
The brief statement was in response to Trump’s claim that he, as president, will work on behalf of all Americans. As a show centered on the work of immigrants and representations of all Americans, “Hamilton” and its cast was the perfect platform for addressing the concerns of many Amricans who are presently and justifiably threatened by the goals of the incoming administration.
The cast’s peaceful and hopeful statement to Pence gave Trump the perfect opportunity to reiterate his promise of benefiting all Americans. Instead, in true Trump fashion, he took to Twitter and denounced the statements. In a pair of Tweets, Trump said, “Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” as well as, “The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
As for the cast, the negative response only reinforces the fact that artists, especially ones involved in such a phenomenon as “Hamilton,” still have the capactiy to start a conversation and be the voice for those who don’t have the luxury of a stage or an audience.