Trump demands apology over the booing of Mike Pence
Vice president-elect booed at performance of a hit hip-hop musical in New York on Friday night
US president-elect Donald Trump has called on the cast of the hip-hop musical Hamilton, currently being staged in New York, to apologise to the vice president-elect Mike Pence after he was booed while attending a performance of the show on Friday night.
In a tweet, Mr Trump said the cast had been “very rude” to the “wonderful” Mr Pence and said the “theater must always be a safe and special place.”
As well as being booed by the audience when he attended the musical, Mr Pence then had a message about protecting diversity delivered to him from the stage after the curtain call.
As Mr Pence turned up for the Broadway show at the Richard Rogers Theater and entered the auditorium, video taken by onlookers and posted to social media picked up some audience members cheering him, then more people booing him.
Mr Pence walked down the aisle towards his seat and waved briefly as people in the theatre clearly began to realise who he was. Then the boos began.
The show was occasionally disrupted by more loud booing at Mr Pence. The irony of a strong conservative who opposes many gay rights attending a hip-hop musical with a pointedly diverse cast was not lost on patrons, as noted in an early report by Variety magazine.
At first it was thought Mr Pence had left the show at the interval, but it later turned out that he had returned to his seat, possibly after the lights went down, at the beginning of the second act in an attempt to minimise disruption.
Mr Pence ended up watching the whole show but as he was about to leave the theatre at the end of the curtain call a member of the cast called him back.
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
He thanked the audience for seeing the show, then said: “Vice-president Mike Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few moments.”
As some quiet boos emanated from the audience as it began to disperse, Mr Dixon hushed the audience and delivered a message.
“There is nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen, we are sharing a story of love,” he said.
He continued: “Mike Pence, we welcome you here. We are the diverse Americans who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents.”
Many of the remaining audience began to cheer softly as Mr Dixon, who is African American, pointed towards Mr Pence.
“Or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights... we hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us,” he continued, to rising cheers.
“We thank you for sharing this wonderful American story, told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations,” he concluded.
It was not clear whether Mr Pence publicly acknowledged the address or made any response immediately afterwards.
The show was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, whom it turned into a superstar. He had a long run as the lead playing US founding father Alexander Hamilton.
Mr Miranda relinquished the part earlier this year to the actor Javier Munoz, his understudy.
Mr Munoz is openly gay and HIV-positive. He has made a point of speaking out
about living with HIV since 2002 and how he hopes to diminish the stigma around HIV and Aids.