Belfast Telegraph

Conversation is not harassment, says Hamilton actor who addressed VP-elect

The Broadway star who told vice president-elect Mike Pence that the cast of Hamilton is concerned about the Trump administration has said there is nothing to apologise for.

At the end of a Broadway performance of the multi-award winning musical about American founding father Alexander Hamilton, actor Brandon Victor Dixon told Mr Pence, who was in the audience, that the diverse cast were worried about the prospect of Donald Trump's presidency.

Mr Trump has since slammed the hit musical, which is sold out until June 2017, as "over-rated", and claimed Mr Pence was "harassed" and demanded the cast apologise.

Dixon, who plays Hamilton's rival Aaron Burr, told CBS's breakfast show This Morning that he was delivering the message on behalf of the producers, creators and the cast.

"We recognise Hamilton is an inherently American story, it's told by the definition of the American community.

"We are men and women of different colours, creeds and orientations and the resonant nature of the show throughout the world demands we make statements when there are important issues facing us as a community.

"We wanted to stand up and spread a message of love and unity considering the emotional outpouring since the election."

He added: " Conversation is not harassment and I was appreciative that vice president-elect Pence stood there and listened to what we had to say."

Dixon said Mr Pence was welcome to come backstage to have conversations with the cast about their concerns.

He added that the show's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Hamilton as a member of the original cast, was involved in writing the message that was read to Mr Pence.

Asked how he felt about Mr Trump's demand for an apology, Dixon said: "There is nothing to apologise for," and added that the president-elect was welcome to come and see the show.

He said: " We welcome Donald Trump at Hamilton because I think the power of our show and the way we tell it is undeniable."

Mr Pence had been booed by fellow theatregoers as he arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York.

After the curtain-call, Dixon addressed Mr Pence from the stage, flanked by the rest of the cast.

"Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments. There's nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen," Dixon said.

"We're all here sharing a story about love.

"We, sir, 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.

"We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us."


From Belfast Telegraph