Trump takes to Twitter to shame cast of 'Hamilton'

Technically Incorrect: Tough night on Broadway for VP pick Mike Pence? He gets booed by crowd; then called out by actors. Donald Trump wants an apology.

Chris Matyszczyk
4 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Political theater.

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If you want to know what Donald Trump is thinking, it's often best to go to his Twitter account first.

There, you'll often get an unbridled view of the events of the day.

On Saturday morning, the president-elect had a couple of things on his mind. The most important (seemingly) was the reception given to his lieutenant, Mike Pence, when Pence went to see "Hamilton" on Broadway.

When Pence arrived, there seemed to be some clapping. This, judging from videos posted to YouTube, was soon joined by boos.

When the show was over and Pence was leaving, the cast took its bows. Then Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the musical, took a piece of paper out of his pocket and offered a few words to the vice president-elect.

Dixon's speech -- reportedly penned by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, with help from the director, lead producer and cast members -- had a politeness that rose far above, say, the tenor of the presidential debates.

"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. There's nothing to boo here. We're all here sharing a story of love," said Dixon.

He thanked Pence for coming.

He went on: "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."

What threatening, revolutionary stuff.

At least that's what the president-elect thought. 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!"

Some might muse that the president-elect has a curious definition of harassment. He wasn't, though, done harassing the cast.

"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!" he tweeted.

Ah, rudeness. So often it's in the ear of the listener. For some people, calling Rosie O'Donnell "my nice fat little Rosie" touches on rudeness. For others, boasting of grabbing women by the genitals is just the talk of the safe space known as the locker room. Some might even think it a little rich for a man who says he never apologizes to demand it of others.

Moreover, some have felt Pence's policies while governor of Indiana went far beyond rudeness and touched on bigotry. Tech luminaries such as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff fought hard (and won) against Pence's anti-LGBT legislation.

Naturally, opinions on Twitter were divided as to whether booing Pence or making a speech to him was rude.

At least one New York Times journalist thought the booing represented disrespect. Others merely saw it as a healthy expression of First Amendment rights. And a very New York expression, if I may say so.

Neither Trump nor the "Hamilton" cast responded to a request for comment. Dixon did, however, reply to Trump's tweeting.

"@realdonaldtrump conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate@mikepence for stopping to listen," he tweeted.

The Hamiltonian reaction was perhaps not so surprising. Miranda made it clear during the election campaign that he was very much for Clinton and very much against Trump. There was an extra performance of the show, solely to fund-raise for the Democratic candidate. Pence wasn't walking into a happy camp.

The Pence-ive thoughts didn't represent the only tweeting performed by Trump on Saturday morning. He also took several tweets to explain why he had agreed to a $25 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by former Trump University students who had felt rather shortchanged by the experience.

This is something that a few observers might imagine was a little more important than a kerfuffle on Broadway. After all, it's not often that a president-elect ends up settling a fraud suit. Especially a president-elect who claims he never settles.

Trump explained that he "did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!"

It's heartening, though, that he still has the time to tweet. Tweeting is such an instant, cathartic expression of the First Amendment.

First published November 19, 1:55 p.m. PT
Update, 2:42 p.m.: Adds detail.