Last weekend Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, who has been strolling the streets of New York of late trying to scrape Indiana off of his shoes, did the consummate tourist thing and went to Broadway to see the smash hit, Hamilton. While Mr. Pence was probably just hoping for a bit of respite from the vulgar and oppressive personality of his new boss, what he got instead was a good dose of scorn and humiliation.
Pence was recognized as he entered the theatre, and a few in the audience applauded his arrival. But before the Indiana homophobe could acknowledge the kind attentions of his supporters, others in the audience began booing, loudly booing the next Vice President of the United States!
And the show went on.
After the curtain calls were completed at the end of the play, the cast assembled on stage where the actor who played Aaron Burr (another Vice President of the United States) read a statement directed at Mike Pence - who was in the process of leaving the theatre. The actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, read the following:
"You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening. Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you hear just a few more moments. There's nothing to boo, ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing to boo. We're all here sharing a story of love. We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out.
And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post, because this message needs to be spread far and wide, OK?
Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do.
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, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.
Again, we truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations."
The Vice President-Elect reportedly heard most of the statement and said later that he had not been offended by it. His boss, however, a man whom Hillary Clinton described as easy to bait with a tweet, took great offense and stirred up one of his standard Twitter shitstorms. Donald Trump apparently put up multiple tweet responses to what he considered to be a personal affront by Broadway. He later pulled down some of his invective, but the following survived:
(There is perhaps no one in America more qualified to understand the concept of "overrated" as Donald John Trump.)"The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior."
Trump has an interesting perspective on the types of things which should beget apologies. Some of us believe that he owes a huuuggge apology to every woman in America for his "pussy-grabbing" banter with Billy Bush. Others believe that the appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a man with a racist past, to be Attorney General merits an apology to the country. Still others think that the appointment of people like Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon to positions of influence in the transition team and the administration merit apologies.
But asking for the cast of a Broadway Show to apologize for encouraging the administration to be inclusive of all Americans and their values, well that is just bullshit.
Perhaps Ivanka can bottle the fragrance and sell it with her "fine" jewelry.