The Hamilton cast closed out their performance Friday (Nov. 18) by delivering a powerful speech helmed by Brandon Victor Dixon aiming to inspire vice president-elect Mike Pence to “uphold our American values.” While the speech attracted praise from the public, many weren’t impressed by the message — including Donald Trump, who took to Twitter demanding an apology from the cast. On Monday (Nov. 21), Dixon appeared on CBS This Morning to defend his speech and address Trump’s remarks.
“The resonant nature of the show throughout the world, throughout the global community demands that we make statements when there are important issues I think facing us as a community,” the Hamilton star said. “We wanted to stand up and spread a message of love and unity considering all of the emotional outpour since the election.” Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the production, spearheaded the speech on behalf of the Hamilton cast which expressed that the incoming president’s administration left the cast “alarmed and anxious.”
Donald Trump followed up by tweeting out that the cast of Hamilton had “terrible behavior” and “harassed” Mike Pence. However, despite Trump’s demands for an apology, Brandon Dixon said “there’s nothing to apologize for.”
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 cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
“Art is meant to bring people together, it’s meant to raise consciousness,” he continued elsewhere in the interview. “We welcome Donald Trump here to Hamilton.”
Following the Hamilton show, Mike Pence later appeared on Fox News Sunday and addressed the controversy surrounding the Dixon’s speech. Contrary to Trump’s feelings towards the cast, Pence offered that he “enjoyed the show” and “wasn’t offended” by the message. “I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election, I know this is a very anxious time for some people,” Pence said. “I just want to reassure people that what Donald Trump said on Election Night, he absolutely meant from the bottom of his heart.”
Watch Brandon Victor Dixon’s full interview with CBS This Morning below.