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Trump tweets demand for apology from ‘Hamilton’ cast

  • Vice President-elect Mike Pence, top center, leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a performance of "Hamilton," in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

NEW YORK >> President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology from the cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” a day after an actor in the hit show delivered a pointed message about diversity to his running mate who was in attendance, prompting angry responses from liberals and conservatives alike and underscoring yet again the fractious aftermath of the 2016 election.

The bitter back-and-forth came after Vice President-elect Mike Pence caught Friday’s performance of “Hamilton” with his nephew and daughter. A mixture of boos and cheers could be heard inside the theater as Pence took his seat. When the show ended, Pence was asked by a cast member to hear a prepared speech after the curtain call from the multiracial and multicultural cast, saying it is concerned about the Trump administration.

“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,” said Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice president. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

The unusual address quickly went viral and Trump on Saturday tweeted that it was “very rude,” arguing that Pence was “harassed” and theater “must always be a safe and special place.” He urged the cast to apologize. Dixon responded on Twitter that “conversation is not harassment sir” and added that he appreciated Pence stopping to listen.

Trump transition officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for the show said none of the cast members would be available to speak Saturday.

Melissa Kremholz, of Indianapolis, the capital of Pence’s home state of Indiana, attended the show Friday night and was seeing it again Saturday afternoon. She said she could see how Dixon’s speech might be interpreted as impolite and gave Pence credit for coming, but backed the Broadway cast’s right to explain how uneasy many Americans feel.

“I think it was really important for them to speak what they had to say because the whole musical talks about how our country came to be and our American values and how our country was built on immigrants and people of all different backgrounds,” she said. “I think it’s really important that they actually spoke their minds and I think they did so very respectfully, too.”

The show’s official Facebook page was inundated with comments ranging from calling Dixon’s speech “disrespectful,” ”inappropriate” and “uncalled for.” Many threatened to not buy tickets to future performances. Tickets for the show are not available for another year; “Hamilton” is sold out through September 2017.

The American Civil Liberties Union weighed in on the side of the Broadway cast, saying the First Amendment is a cornerstone of America “even if it sometimes makes our leaders uncomfortable.”

“President-elect Trump needs a refresher on his high school civics class. Americans don’t apologize — not even to presidents or vice presidents — for the lawful and proper exercise of their constitutional rights,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero wrote in a statement.

But Noel Leifer, from Manchester, New Jersey, who was in line to see a matinee Saturday with his wife, Peggy, said he understood why so many people felt that actors lecturing the next vice president from a Broadway stage were somewhat impudent.

“It was a protest. It was a bit disrespectful. They are going to be the leaders of the country. I didn’t vote for them — I think they’re poor candidates — but they’re still going to be leaders,” said Leifer, who was celebrating his wife’s birthday with tickets he bought a year ago.

As for a boycott of the show, he didn’t think that would ultimately fly. “I don’t think too many people who have spent the money for this show are going to boycott it just to make a protest statement.”

The musical is by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the story, music and lyrics. It stresses the orphan, immigrant roots of first U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and has a terrifically varied score, ranging from pop ballads to gospel to sexy R&B. It has been cheered for reclaiming the nation’s founding story with a multicultural cast.

Miranda, in a tweet, said he was “proud” of Dixon and the “Hamilton” cast “for leading with love,” before reminding people that everyone is welcome at the theater.

Miranda had been a big booster for the failed presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including performing at an all-star fundraiser for her last month. The cast also put on a special “Hamilton” show at a Clinton fundraiser last summer.

The person playing Alexander Hamilton that Pence saw was Javier Munoz, an openly gay actor. Pence supported numerous efforts to ban gay marriage as governor of Indiana and opposed unfettered federal funding for HIV and AIDS treatment.

Many in the Broadway community quickly defended the actions of the “Hamilton” cast, including new Tony Award-winner Cynthia Erivo, who mocked: “You want the theater full of people you have alienated to be protective of you?” And Josh Gad, a Tony nominee for “The Book of Mormon,” wrote: “I know the booing upsets some of you. But this is what happens when you run on a platform of hate.”

Janise Gray, of Union, New Jersey, who saw the show Saturday afternoon, considered the speech an anguished cry from those fearful they will be pushed aside under Republican rule.

“One way or another, we want everybody to be represented and the way the campaign was, it wasn’t feeling that everybody was being represented,” she said, adding that she was glad Pence came.

“From what I’ve heard, it sounded like it was fair and equitable. It was just a statement of ‘please represent everyone. We are a diverse country and we need to be inclusive,’” she said. “That’s what this country was founded on.”

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  • Mr. Dixon is to be applauded for this. He’s correct that Mr. Pence has a long, sad history of trampling on the rights of people he doesn’t like, and his slathering worship of Mr. Trump suggests he hasn’t changed one bit.

    We all need to stand up to Mr. Trump. Join the ACLU; the Southern Poverty Law Center; or the NAACP. If you’re an attorney, volunteer your services to them to fight Mr. Trump at every turn in his efforts to turn back the clock. File brief after brief to complicate every single deportation hearing, and demand court resources to the extent possible. Encourage your friends and business associates to register as a Muslim if the registry they’re talking about actually happens. Flood them with people to follow. Throw sand in the gears and make the job a frustrating a frustrating struggle every minute of every day.

    • Wow. A very childish public temper tantrum meltdown, a psychotic break. You do know that going through life angry is correlated with shorter life expectancy. Maybe you should also encourage your your comrades to hold their breath until they turn blue. That’ll show those nasty conservatives.

      • Right. Truly a pointed criticism. Meanwhile the president elect of the United Stated is still tweeting angry rebuttals at every perceived sleight. Surprised he’s not responding klas himself.

      • Trump is so thinned skin, he has to demand an apology from everyone who do not grovel at his feet, when he hardly apologizes ever, for all the dumb things he has done, like Trump University, his collusion with Putin, his hateful divisive rhetoric, slurs and vile insults

        • Doesn’t that sound a lot like our comment section, similarities are uncanny. Maybe the Donald is a representative of American attitude after all. #MAGA

        • Shot dead the grandson of Illinois U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, Chicago police said Saturday. And over Basketball Shoes? were it Jordan’s? We have got to stop this Insanity in Chicago! oh my, you get what you sow!

      • Joining organizations that support civil rights and civil liberties is actively sabotaging our country? Sounds like you’d be more at home in a country where those things don’t exist, like Russia, which the president-elect admires so much.

        • “Throw sand in the gears and make the job a frustrating a frustrating struggle every minute of every day.” is what he said. You can read can’t you?

        • bumbai – That’s exactly what I meant. If Mr. Trump and his administration are going to attempt to trample on the rights of anyone, they are going to learn how the Constitution works. They won’t like it.

          Lawyers and private citizens are going to make it impossible for Mr. Trump to make an end run around the law and Constitution. That’s what patriots do when the government becomes tyrannical.

        • Yeah klastri speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He never expressed any concern when Obama resorted to Executive Orders in order to sabotage Congress and get his way. What goes around comes around when Trump undoes all of Obama’s actions.

        • Obama resorted to executive orders because the republicans refused to cooperate in any way with anything he wanted to get done. They then had the audacity to complain about his use of executive orders. This is why approval ratings of republican congressmen was at an all time low.

        • IRT skinut: You say the Republicans refuse to cooperate so executive orders were necessary. You do realize that when the President was elected he had majorities in both Congress and Senate, then proceeded to lose Congress and the Senate in record numbers. Citizens voted out the Democrats because they did not agree with the direction of the country and the policies of the administration. They were elected to oppose the President, it’s a s simple as that. If they agreed, they would be kicked out of office. Hillary said she was going to continue the “success” of the current administration, so she was voted out as well. The people have had enough with income redistribution, being called racist, on and on.

        • “BOOM” was meant for Cajaybird’s informed post (NOT Vector) which HUNG skinut OUT TO DRY!

    • Thanks, klastri. @CEI, you sound like you think klastri is angry. Why? S/he lists a things that can be done to try to ensure our basic rights and liberties aren’t trampled on. There was no hostility in her/his writings. But you end your statement with a nasty crack. Maybe it is you who is angry. Hence, you should take heed of your own warnings of anger possibly leading to a shorter life expectancy.

    • klastri, what happened to the big landslide. The polls, the media. You and people like you make me laugh. The joke is on you. The people have spoken.
      Keep it up. I hope you spend the next four years wasting your time.

      • You seem to forget that Mrs. Clinton received a lot more votes than Mr. Trump did, so please don’t delude yourself with fantasies of a mandate. Mr. Trump did win the electoral vote, so (sadly for the United States) he is going to be President. Mr. Trump, however, is in for a rude awakening, that being President is not the same as being CEO. The majority of the electorate did not want him to be President.

        There is a large move underway to use the Constitution against him in the most forceful possible way every time he tries to trample on the rights of anyone. Thinking people all over the country are joining groups like the ACLU by the hundreds of thousands to fight him. I don’t consider that to be wasting time. I couldn’t care less what you think it is.

        • Yes, Pocho… And, you’re actually Russian – here illegally – trying to sew discord among the American grassroots for your boss, Vlad.

        • TigerEye…”spamhowzit” from another site who is an avid Kurt on Kauai (aka klastri) backer upper?

        • Keonigohan and Pocho, you are both two sadistic malicious Nazis. You both would fit well in Auschwitz as camp guards

        • Liberal ALERT!!! Vector ran out of substance….resorting to name calling!!
          Vector…you have very THIN SKIN.

        • Uh-huh…. well, golly, keonigohan (AKA, “sharp as a beachball” from another planet). I guess you’ve uncovered everyone’s secret identity. Guess I should git whals the gittin’s good. I mean, I’d just scrunch up into a little ball if someone of your caliber (about .177?) were to fault me on “substance” or start lobbing fancy words like “backer upper.”

        • In other words: What identity change? And what other forum? It’s clear that you’re getting your inside info along with the rest of your information from your own personal colanoscope – or maybe the relative position of your head precludes the need for gadgetry.

          And, really, you’ve got no more business lecturing people about substantive discourse than you do about quantum mechanics.

    • Boycott Hamilton! Do not support Liberals/Democrats who have more sympathy for people of color and Illegal Aliens than White and of minority people middle class working US Citizens.

      • If you want not to make a point, you might want to write it clearer so that we can understand it. I know that sometimes it makes sense in our head when we write it but doesn’t actually convey the message when others read it. I’m just thinking if your comment was important to you then you should take your time and make sure that it hits us as intended. #MAGA

      • Yes, register as a Muslim. We already have pledges from every single employee in our company – and we’re just one of many who have pledged to do this – to register as a Muslim, assuming Trump moves forward with his insane plan. If Trump is going to watch people who register, he better hire another hundred thousand FBI agents.

    • Klastri, I recommend you give the guy his chance to see what he does. Do you also read the 1st page of a book and come to the conclusion you know what the end is all about?
      I am very concerned about many of the items you have discuss, but, I’m not going to condemn a man for something he has not done yet.
      Many promises are made in speeches of all politicians. Some are kept, some are swept under the rug, some are put on the warmer…….
      He’s not even President yet and you want to make false allegations based on assumptions.
      I’m going to equate your rationale to the Kardashians.

      • Trump already told everyone what he’ll do. Nominating Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as AG kind of seals the deal.

        The ACLU has more than 200,000 new members since the election. Lawyers are signing up by the thousands to provide volunteer services.

        We’re going to be ready for him. The goal is to make his first 100 days as frustrating and miserable for him as possible. And to push every possible button that will trigger a psychotic episode. He wants an apology from the cast of Hamilton? That psychotic episode isn’t far off.

  • well, looks like the soros’ and the female felon’s brown shirts have finished their saul alinsky seminar and have recommitted themselves to the “rules for radicals” that alinsky dedicated to lucifer.

    it’s a shame that rather than coming together to help achieve the hope and change that american voters wanted in this election, soros’ and the female felon’s brown shirts have now dispersed to impede america’s progress and further divide americans by spreading the socialist agenda of fear, hate and prejudice using alinsky’s “rules for radicals” as their blueprint.

    it’s also sad that institutions established for providing an education have instead become factories of intensive socialist indoctrination, intolerant of explorations into challenging ideas, free speech and respect for all americans. these institutions are now producing narcissistic elitists who see the vast american population as peasants unworthy of self determination.

    • Same type of response as klastri (see above), no difference. We all want to see what we want to see, and you two proved it. Too many us and thems here not enough we. The true #MAGA.

  • Right on to Victor Dixon! Our nation is indeed anxious to see how the Trump administration works out. An administration that wants to bring back torture/water boarding? A leader who has selected Bannon and others who are anti-people of color? Trump himself who mocked a reporter with disabilities! God Save our nation.

    • Still readingat MSM “news” I see. What was done to Pence was so childissh, hateful and e xactly what they claim the Trump administration will do. What a bunch of losers, I hope their audience dwindles because of this.

      • Then, president elect Trump should apologize to the Mexicans, the disabled reporter, the Federal Judge, to our sitting president for carrying on that he was not a citizen and for mocking Hillary Clinton when he made fun of her illness. Yes, he is our president elect, but we don’t have to approve of his bad behavior.

        • You still don’t get it? It wasn’t a vote of support for Trump, it was a vote against that lying Clinton and her corrupt influence peddling around the world.

  • The left still doesn’t get it. From the media to the loony-tunes in Hollywood, these folks still don’t understand just how irrelevant they’ve become.

  • Sad how childish and disrespectful those who say that they want protection and that “OUR American values” be met. There is respectful dialogue, then there is this garbage.

  • What’s worse than making an AZZ out of oneself and not accepting defeat graciously? A dysfunctional ideologue where reason & fairness has no place….e.g. klastri…King of the TIN FOUL HATS

  • There is a time and place to voice your personal views. People are saying, freedom of speech, but what next? Flight Attendants taking the PA to let the cabin know their views when a certain passenger is on board? When you are paid to do a job and you have an audience, I don’t think it is right. People paid to see a play. I say this even though I agree with his statements.

  • All theater goers deserve to watch and enjoy the show in peace. For many of the audience to boo and heckle was selfish, immature and mean-spirited. It also was disrespectful as regardless of ones views, this was the VP elect and his wife. Additionally, theater management should have stopped this bad behavior from the onset by announcements and security ushering out the okoles booing and heckling. Worse yet the cast members used the moment as the bull in pulpit to publicly ridicule the VP elect and his wife. Ironically, their so called message of diversity and inclusiveness was totally lost by their cruel and mis-placed behaviors.

    • Except that what you wrote isn’t true. Their message was not lost. It’s a reminder to everyone that Mr. Trump is not going to be king, and no one is going to apologize to him. No one. And there’s nothing he can do about it.

      Mr. Trump gave many lessons in cruelty during his campaign. What Mr. Dixon said was not cruel.

      • Not true? It is an opinion, like your posts are an opinion though perhaps an uniformed one. Their (Hamilton cast) message was one of rudeness, disrespect and elitism. Strange how nowadays there is an growing absence of simple manners, respect and etiquette. In Hawaii we call it aloha.

  • Talk can certainly constitute harassment. Whether what was said was harassment I can’t answer. It was very rude and crass, but was simply a regurgitation of the Clinton campaign rhetoric. I myself have a lot of different concerns about the Trump Administration and fear it will ruin my life.

  • Harassment!! One should be able to attend the theater or other place of entertainment without being publicly chastised for political reasons. Not very tolerant but asking for tolerance. Thinking twice about going to see Hamilton now…

  • Really? No class a disrespectful to those who paid to watch a Broadway musical not listen to his rant. Yes rant.

    I am brown and in no way fear a Trump presidency as I understand that POTUS does not have unlimited monarchal power over any citizen / group of people. POTUS presides over the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, not over you and me. The Founders of this Republic were architects of system prohibiting absolute power.

    I do not live in fear.

    • As you stated I too did not choose to subscribe to this newspaper to hear your rant, so disrespectful of you. And it was done after the show as far as I can tell.

      Regarding your, “Founders of this Republic..prohibiting absolute powers.” Is this why so many people blame Obama for everything? By your statement it appears that he doesn’t have absolute power. That makes me think that he could not possibly be to blame for everything that is wrong with America. What are your views if this? #MAGA

    • Thank you – I can’t seem to get anyone to understand this – We are a government of the people, no one man (and his cabinet, advisers, etc) can force their will on us.

      Face it he is the President, if you did vote and didn’t choose him – great at least you voted, if not, too late!

      We have come too far in race relations and sexual orientation (Trump said gay marriage is a done deal), why does the left keep trying to divide all of us. I am fairly liberal and do not fear the Trump presidency, it is an opportunity for change. I am sick of working 3 jobs so that my hard earned taxes go to those that don’t want to work receive more benefits than is available to me.

    • Impeachment is for crimes committed while in office…since Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet I doubt there much of a case. The alternative reality of the liberal looney bin is no longer sustainable…it’s back to reality for the lot of you.

        • Are you serious!
          “Since he said he would do that, a PARDON is required.”
          At the time Mr. Trump was a PRIVATE CITIZEN saying that in passing during a debate…a sound bite!
          You’re the one who is “UNBALANCED” as others have attested to.
          Your claim of hiLIARy will win in a LANDSLIDE is proof you’re…hum…you know.

  • This is just We the People are doing. Wait till he gets in office….Oh boy. They he will be at odds with politicians,actors,kids,women,gays all attacking them from his Twitter while he sits on the toilet. This will be a 24/7 thing. Man is this country being divided by this clown. He will not make good his promise to”bringing us together”. He will not fight crime in the inner cities and will not assist “blacks” in getting ahead like he said. He’s a fraud, and paid $25 million in a lawsuit. Who’s going to pay when he’s president? Yup, the tax payers. His 4th bankruptcy will be his “greatest feat” and the USA will be flushed.

    • The point of view that he is the cause of Americas division is incorrect. He is not the illness but a symptom of America. He did not create this division, the division has created this opportunity for him. If we stay on this track the illness will still be here. In the future maybe a brasher more divisive “Trump” takes his place or maybe a brash and divisive “Liberal Trump” will takeover but the illness will remain.

  • first of all crunbholz this country was fought in 1776 and founded by whites blacks and American Indian immagrants who built this country its the illegal’s of Hispanics and radical muslim’s that want to tear this country down, so those are the only three from 1776 till now that built this country. only three backgrounds built this country and that’s the difference who built this country.

        • Pointing out that you know nothing about history and cannot construct coherent sentences doesn’t have anything to do with Mrs. Clinton. How are you making that connection?

  • ACLU – self righteous cowards who declined to take on representing native Hawaiians whose land is taken by Hawaii’s majority population. Check the record and you will never find the ACLU defending native Hawaiians. Plus if you want to learn about black on white crime see Colin Flaherty on youtube. Disrespectful indeed and ignorant, too. Let’s see how well the play does when non libs stop buying tickets. When did art become propaganda?

    • When “libs” stop buying tickets? That’s not going to happen for a long time since the show is sold out for about a year. And the touring shows are all sold out too. So good luck with that delusion.

      I’m an ACLU volunteer attorney and I can assure you that no one in that organization is coward. The staff, in particular, can be ferocious in a courtroom, and they rarely lose.

  • Mr. Trump demands an apology!@#$ What a hypocrite. Did he ever apoligize to President Obama for years of birther lies? Did he ever apoligize to Senator McCain for saying he is not a hero because he was a prisoner of war? give me a break. There’s no demanding of anything if you can’t get it together yourself. I am willing to give him a chance, but he has to have some control over his mouth.

  • A wrong forum to voice a political statement. The Vice-Predident-elect did attend the show to listen this or the cast’s personal views relating to the election result fears and tribulations.

  • The problem is that Mr. Trump is an 8 year old bully who never grew up and never learned about government. People in this country who exercise their rights do not apologize to politicians. He is not a king.

    And calls on here to boycott Hamilton? Please do. The show is sold out for a year – the biggest blockbuster ever on Broadway – so go ahead and boycott it. That will make it easier for folks like me to buy tickets. People calling for a boycott probably couldn’t afford tickets or travel anyway, so it’s all just bluster.

    Mr. Trump is in for a big surprise. People are preparing diligently to fight what he promised to do during his campaign – not to apologize to him. He has no idea of the problems he’s going to face. And his fantasy of deporting 3 million people? They will never be able to build enough courthouses or confirm enough judges to clear out the mess that the legal community is developing to stop that hot mess of a plan.

    • Klassless, did you peruse the site hamiltonbroadway.com to see where they were advertising for non white men and women?
      Sorry you couldn’t wear your new dress to Hillarys coronation, but you can get another one with bright fiesta green white, and reds to be at the next La Raza get together.

      • Yes, of course – your La Raza fantasy is still alive. Keep up with that one – it’s a winner!

        All productions cast specific parts with specific actors. It sounds like you have not seen Hamilton yet. Big surprise!

    • you forgot to respond to why they are cowards, as in refusing to represent native Hawaiians when the majority population of Hawaii, Asian Americans, take native Hawaiian land. This is an act of cowardice and you are a coward also, as you well know. “Sold Out”. reserved tickets held by non lefties can be cancelled and refunds can be demanded. Your legal chops leave one doubtful.

      • S/he doesn’t have any legal chops…all made up….claimed Pres GW BUSH appointed him to a Federal Judgeship. Look at his/her rhetoric…doesn’t sound “Fair & Balanced” to me.

        • klastri you have as much credibility as Anthony Weiner.
          You LOST the election and obviously you still need help coping.
          Here’s one for you to ponder over Thanksgiving…what has Obama accomplished that benefited a MAJORITY of Americans in his 8 years?
          (Hint, you stated Obamacare on another news website)

  • Man up fu—n cry baby. Now that you president elect act like one. Can’t handle constructive criticism then go back to your crib where you belong f—ng panty. Don’t know how you going deal with ISIS if can’t handle a bunch of actors excercising their freedom of speech.

  • I don’t think an apology is needed. However the Pence”s should get their money back. No ticket buyer should have to put up with a harangue from a cast member.

  • Hamilton cast, exercising their First Amendment rights, asks Pence to “uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us.” These are dark times for America’s core values.

  • Trump is outraged that the Hamilton cast, exercising their First Amendment rights, asks Pence to “uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us.” These are dark times for America’s core values.

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