US Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Friday received an earful from a Broadway cast, calling on him to "uphold American values, and work on behalf of all Americans."
The speech by 'Hamilton' cast prompted US President-elect Donald Trump to demand an apology.
After the curtain call on Friday evening, actor Brandon Victor Dixon told Pence that the multiracial and multicultural cast was concerned about the Trump administration.
Pence, a Republican, ducked out before Dixon finished the unprecedented message but heard the full remarks from the hallway outside the auditorium.
"Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theatre by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "The theatre must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologise!"
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
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 atmosphere was tense from the time the vice president-elect arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, triggering both cheers and boos as he slipped into row F in the prime orchestra seats. After the curtain-call, Dixon called Pence out from the stage, with the cast behind him.
"You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening. Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments - (boos from the audience) there's nothing to boo here, we're all sharing a story of love. We have a little message for you, sir, and we hope you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post, because this message is going to be spread far and wide,” Dixon said before pulling out a paper from his pocket.
“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 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 and women of different colors, creeds and orientations," the message read.
Pence reportedly left the auditorium before Dixon finished speaking, but a show spokesman told the Associated Press that the vice president-elect stood in the hallway and heard the full message.
Dixon plays Arron Burr, the nation's third vice president, in the Broadway show 'Hamilton,’ a musical about the rise of former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton from his humble beginnings as an orphan and an immigrant.
"Hamilton", which has won 11 Tony Awards, has been praised by politicians and rap stars alike.
The first family has been big boosters of the show. US President Barack Obama took daughters Sasha and Malia to see it last year after first lady Michelle Obama caught it last spring. Pence's predecessor, Vice President Joe Biden, has also seen it.
The speech by Dixon left the Twitter divided with #NameAPenceMusical and #BoycottHamilton both trending on Saturday.
Some took to Twitter to voice their support fot Hamilton cast and echo the message delievered by it.
Americans don't need to apologize-not even to presidents or vice presidents-for the lawful & proper exercise of their constitutional rights. https://t.co/daN147yjkM— ACLU (@ACLU) November 19, 2016
The cast of Hamilton used Mike Pence's presence to speak out about the fears that LGBTQ people and others have. https://t.co/8jdzNcp4Lj— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) November 19, 2016
That isn't harassment. The reality is that LGBTQ people, people of color, women and others have faced harassment since the election.— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) November 19, 2016
Trump should spend less time tweeting about Hamilton and more time condemning harassment and hateful rhetoric targeting marginalized people.— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) November 19, 2016
Those on the opposite side:
One word describes how I feel about this — "pathetic." I know a Broadway show I will not be going to see!https://t.co/sHuGQBSNJA— Gavin J. Smith (@iamgavinjames) November 19, 2016
The arrogance and hostility of the Hamilton cast to the Vice President elect ( a guest at the theater) is a reminder the left still fights.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) November 19, 2016