NEW YORK, U.S. - U.S. Vice-president-elect Mike Pence was in for a surprise on Friday, when he decided to attend Broadway’s hit hip-hop musical, Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in ...
• Pence voted against Employment Non-Discrimination Act
• Hamilton show won 11 Tony awards and has been praised for depicting America’s true values and founding history
• Barack and Michelle Obama previously attended the show with their daughters
NEW YORK, U.S. - U.S. Vice-president-elect Mike Pence was in for a surprise on Friday, when he decided to attend Broadway’s hit hip-hop musical, Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.
Walking into the theatre, to loud boos, the self-proclaimed people’s man was jeered throughout the show - so much so, that the boos from the crowd interrupted the show many times - but the cast didn’t mind, because they had a message of their own for Pence.
According to tweets from audience members, Pence faced loud boos as he made his way to his seat, in between the show and especially during the ‘You’ll be back (Reprise).
One Twitter user and audience member said, “During You’ll Be Back (Reprise) they had to keep pausing the song while people jeered Pence on every line.”
Another user said, “I’m at #Hamilton and so is Mike Pence. Crowd booed him like crazy, and gave a standing O at the line ‘immigrants we get the job done.”
The jeers were thought to be in protest of Pence’s anti-LGBTQ stance throughout the presidential campaign and his political career.
One of the audience members tweeted, “During ‘You'll Be Back (Reprise)’ they had to keep pausing the song, while people jeered Pence on every line. ‘When your people say they hate you…’ Fully stopped the song for a minute while people lost their s**t. Never seen anything like it.”
Pence has advocated the ‘Conversion Therapy’ for LGBT people.
During the election campaign he said, “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
He had added, “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage. Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a 'discreet and insular minority' entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.”
The future VP also voted for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law in 2015. He opposed the ban on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy for the LGBT community and urged the military to be excluded from the policy.
During an interview, he had said, “There's no higher priority for the national government than to provide for the common defense. We ought not to use the American military as a backdrop for social experimentation or debating domestic policy issues. The focus ought to be on readiness, it ought to be on recruitment, it ought to be on retention, unite cohesion.”
Pence even rejected President Obama’s decree on transgender bathrooms in school.
“Policies regarding the security and privacy of students in our schools should be in the hands of Hoosier parents and local schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature,” Pence said.
In addition to those controversial statements, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007. The law could repeal discrimination based on sexuality in the workplace. But it failed in the house in 2013.
Speaking against the act, Pence had said, “Societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”
He said that denying marriage equality was not discrimination, but rather 'God's idea'.
As for the show, Hamilton is a musical biography of Alexander Hamilton, who became the right-hand man of General George Washington and a key figure in the creation of the U.S. financial system and the creator of the U.S. Coast Guard.
He was killed in a duel with then Vice-President Aaron Burr in 1804.
The show, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical's book, music and lyrics, stresses the orphan and immigrant roots of Hamilton.
The show has been widely appreciated for reclaiming the nation’s founding story by a multicultural cast.
The show, which has won 11 Tony Awards, has been praised by politicians and musicians for its varied scores ranging from pop ballads to gospel to R&B. It has also influenced the debate over the nation’s currency.
Pence, who attended the show with his close relatives and daughter, was directed a message by the cast and one actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, who played the character of Burr in the show, while leaving the theatre.
"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. We're all here sharing a story about love, Dixon read a written message for Pence.
He added, “We, sir, 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. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
After Pence left, Jeffrey Seller, the show's lead producer, who also helped in writing the message for Pence said he hoped that Pence would share the show's message of empathy. He said, “We are honored that Pence attended the show, and we had to use this opportunity to express our feelings. I hope that maybe it inspires him to feel for those not like him.”
The show was previously attended by President Obama, his wife Michelle along with their daughters.
Pence’s embarrassing New York evening didn’t end there - the moment he exited the theatre - he was met with angry protesters who crowded outside the theatre.
Demonstrators continued to chant ‘F*** Mike Pence’ even as his motorcade made its way past the crowd.
In fact, before the event, hacker group Anonymous tweeted, “Hey NYC... Mike Pence is watching Hamilton RIGHT NOW. How bout a nice crowd outside to tell him he's not welcome? #NotMyPresident.”