Well folks, we made it! It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, which we all know is a Christmas warm-up. There’s no better time to take a moment to take stock…
We’re four days out from our national day of gratitude, and our future president is reprimanding the cast of the most widely beloved musical of our time on Twitter. Welcome to 2016. This is real life now.
For those who have avoided the latest strange twist, here’s the abbreviated version:
Our VP-elect, Mike Pence, attended a performance of “Hamilton” last night in NYC. He was booed by much of the audience when he arrived (which I’ll table commentary on for now) and then was addressed directly by the cast during the curtain call (which he heard from a hallway outside the theater). Here’s what they said:
Okay, now back to the boos. Do I understand why people would boo? Yes. Would I have booed? No. Do I think it’s a particularly productive tactic given the division following this campaign? No.
What the cast did, which it’s worth noting was written by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, director, Thomas Kail, and lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, is what we need to be doing. We need to be communicating in a civil, direct manner.
We can all argue until we’re blue in the face over whether it was an appropriate venue. Although I for one can think of few more appropriate places than the stage of “Hamilton” which in addition to being the hottest ticket on Broadway has done some truly incredible outreach to make theater more accessible for everyone. (I’m talking to you, #BoycottHamilton trolls.)
Now, onto what I find most alarming about this whole ordeal. I give you the response of our President-elect:
This Tweet is actually the second of a relatively short Twitter burst (when compared to other recent rants), but the sentiment is generally the same through both. Now I just have a few points I’d like to make, and then I’ll get off my political soap box:
Regardless of who you voted for, or how you feel about the “Hamilton” statement, public servants (let alone our future president) should not behave this way. The office is one of leadership and service. That includes serving the ones who didn’t vote for you and you don’t agree with. Going on Twitter and scolding those people for legally and civilly (not sure how we’re defining “rude” now) sharing their concerns is beyond unprofessional, it’s picking a side.
There is one thing in the Tweet that I completely agree with (superfluous capitalization aside): “The Theater must always be a safe and special place.”
It’s a place where anything can happen, even open, honest dialogues about issues that really, truly matter.