“We’re all here sharing a story of love. We have a message for you sir, we hope that you will hear us out,” Brandon Dixon, who plays the role of Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton, addressed Vice President elect Mike Pence on November 18, 2016.
Hamilton: An American Musical is a political musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda following the story of Alexander Hamilton. Set during and after the American Revolution, the play follows Hamilton through war and personal strife, and ends in a duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr which results in Hamilton’s death.
On November 18, amid the chaos of Trump University news, Mike Pence attended a showing of the play on Broadway with his family. Upon his entrance Pence was met with boos from the audience, and at his leave he was addressed by Brandon Dixon on behalf of the cast.
The short speech was posted by the official Hamilton Twitter and reads as followed:
A video of the speech can be seen here.
Though creator Lin-Manuel Miranda told “The Times” he has no desire to get involved in politics, knowing how difficult it can become from watching his father who was a Democratic political adviser, he expressed his pride in his cast and their actions on Twitter.
The cast received many critiques with President-elect Donald Trump being the most notable. Trump, like Miranda, took to Twitter to express his opinions and accused the cast of harassing Pence in the theater— a place he said should be a “safe and special place.”
Despite Trump’s demand for an apology, Pence accepted the message and took no offense.
“I did hear what was said from the stage. I can tell you I wasn’t offended by what was said. I will leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
Some critics chose to neither defend or attack either side, but focused on the actions and the message. Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band called the speech a civil form of bullying, attacking the timing of the message. He believed it was inappropriate for the cast to single out Pence where, as an audience member, he was on an uneven playing field with little defense.
Following the show, Trump-Pence supporters logged onto Twitter with the hashtag #BoycottHamilton. The hashtag is filled with two types of people: those wholeheartedly trying to boycott the popular, sold out Broadway hit, and those mocking the boycott.
Boycotters are standing in defense of Pence but seem to have no real substantial plan for boycotting the play. According to Forbes, the show broke its own record, once again, with a gross of $2.45 million; its gross numbers continue to increase and #BoycottHamilton seems to have little to no effect on the play’s popularity and success.
On the other hand, those who mocked the hashtag did so under a common thought: Hamilton is virtually sold out for the next several months. Many on Twitter have been asking boycotters to pass down their tickets so they can enjoy the play.
Some celebrities have also participated in the mockery, calling out boycotters for not wanting to see a play starring non-white actors and otherwise being too poor to afford tickets in the first place.