Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, may have expected a simple night out with his family on Friday evening in New York when he arrived at the Broadway show, "Hamilton". He didn't get that; instead the New York crowd greeted him with boos as he took his seat on arrival, and the cast delivered an unprecedented direct admonishment to the VP, to cap off the night during the curtain call.
"Vice President-elect Pence, I see you're walking out, but I hope you will hear just a few more minutes."
"We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our friends, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us."
"We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientation."
"We don't have to agree, but we have to live here."
Video of Pence arriving to boos from the New York crowd.
If that weren't enough, apparently the show had to be stopped multiple times for the leftist crowd to gather their composure.
I'm at #Hamilton and so is Mike Pence. Crowd booed him like crazy, and gave a standing O at the line "immigrants we get the job done" 1/2— Christy Colburn (@christymoose) November 19, 2016
2/2 Crowd went NUTS at King George's lines "when people say they hate you" & "do you know how hard it is to lead?" He had to stop the song.— Christy Colburn (@christymoose) November 19, 2016
The only semi-positive thing to come from the night was yet another Biden meme.
Biden: I sent Pence tickets to Hamilton— Erika ???? (@ErikaBuis) November 19, 2016
Biden: just watch
Then, this morning Donald Trump joined in the fray of what is shaping up the political scandal of the weekend, when he tweeted "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!" and added "The Theater must always be a safe and special place", a statement Abraham Lincoln surely agrees with.
He concluded that "the cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!" And since we doubt anyone will apologize, this will merely serve as the latest news cycle focal point of "tolerance" tensions between Trump and an increasingly more vocal liberal population.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
As in the case of Twitter, which prompted a strong reaction by conservatives following the social media's banning of some of the more prominent "alt-right" users, we anticipate that instead of leading to an easing in ideological tensions across the US, this latest example of how deep the "divide" runs within America, and will only lead to more polarization, not to mention a steep decline in Hamilton ticket sales which may have just lost half of its potential audience in the future.
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Finally, a reminder that this appeal to "uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us" comes from a show which as CBS reported back in March may have run afoul of the strict New York City Human Rights Law when a casting notice posted by the producers of “Hamilton" specifically was seeking “non-white” performers.
One critic said “Hamilton” takes a story that “valorizes dead white guys” and replaces it with black, Latino and multi-ethnic performers playing America’s founding fathers.
But as the blockbuster musical looks to expand to other cities, the casting notice with its call for “non-white” performers looks problematic to civil rights attorney Randolph McLaughlin.
“What if they put an ad out that said, ‘Whites only need apply?’” said McLaughlin, of the Newman Ferrara Law Firm. “Why, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians would be outraged.”
As McLaughling concluded that “you cannot advertise showing that you have a preference for one racial group over another. As an artistic question – sure, he can cast whomever he wants to cast, but he has to give every actor eligible for the role an opportunity to try.”
That was also the policy of Actors Equity, the Broadway union, which says, “…producers agree that auditions for all productions… will be conducted in such a manner as to provide full and fair consideration to actors of all ethnicities.”
Producer Jeffrey Seller defended the diversity of the “Hamilton” cast and the legality of the “non-white” casting notice. “I stand by it and believe it to be legal,” he said. That whole part was understandably missing from the show's appeal to VP-elect Mike Pence.