Vice President-elect Mike Pence is assuring his supporters—pretty much everyone who got riled up from his Broadway expedition—that he wasn’t offended by the cast of Hamilton directing their concerns at him during curtain call—and that booing your leaders is an exercise of freedom and free speech (via The Hill):
Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday he "wasn't offended" after the cast of the Broadway hit "Hamilton" called for the Indiana governor to uphold the country's values in a personal message after a show.
"I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know that this is a very anxious time for some people," Pence said on "Fox News Sunday."
"And I just want to reassure people that what President-elect Donald Trump said on election night he absolutely meant from the bottom of his heart — he is preparing to be the president of all of the people of the United States of America."
Pence noted when he arrived at the show, he heard a few boos and some cheers.
"And I nudged my kids and reminded them, that's what freedom sounds like," Pence said.
In other words, Pence seemed to have expected that some people at the Friday show probably didn’t like he was there, given that he was deep in the belly of the beast regarding Clinton supporters. In a previous post, I never said that Hamilton cast didn’t have the right to lecture the vice president, as with anything First Amendment-related, be prepared to deal with the fallout.
It was an echo from the liberal bubble in a city where some of the major brands in the news media have their headquarters. The vice president was there. This was definitely going to get picked up. Again, the statement from actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, seemed to only serve the purpose of keeping the blood pressure of the liberal elite at healthy levels, which is what MSNBC does on a daily basis. Now, there are some artists who disagree with what the cast of the show did. Musician Steven Van Zandt (aka Silvio Dante from The Sopranos) said that there is a time and place for political advocacy and curtain call isn’t one of those times. Van Zandt doled out his opinion on Twitter and said that what occurred to Pence was bullying, that a theater should be an area for art to speak, and that this act sets a terrible precedent.
Pence will survive. He enjoyed the show, despite the last minute ambush on stage, and we shouldn’t be calling for boycotts or even apologies. For starters, most of the people in the crowd probably liked what Dixon had to say, so an apology would be sort of a waste of time. Second, just because something may be viewed as immature or inappropriate doesn’t mean it’s not protected free speech. Dixon and the cast made a decision. The public can now discuss and one thing is clear: the urban elites still don’t get it.