Yes, he did it again. If you woke up Sunday morning thinking, hey, at least the soon-to-be leader of the free world won’t criticize a Broadway show today, sorry to say: You were mistaken. Who knows what President-elect Donald Trump dreamt about last night but he apparently woke up Sunday morning still reeling that the Hamilton actors dared to deliver a plea to his No. 2 at the end of Friday night’s performance. So he took to Twitter bright and early to describe Hamilton as “highly overrated” and then reiterated his calls for the cast to apologize for “their terrible behavior.”
Yes, for those keeping count at home that’s the fourth time the president-elect took to Twitter in a span of 24 hours to hit out against a Broadway musical that has received lots of praise for, among other things, bringing some much-needed diversity to a Broadway stage. On Saturday afternoon, Trump sent what was his third tweet about Hamilton: “Very rude and insulting of Hamilton cast member to treat our great future V.P. Mike Pence to a theater lecture. Couldn’t even memorize lines!”
Strangely enough, Trump (or someone from his staff?) quickly deleted that tweet. It had been sent less than 12 hours after Trump initially sparked controversy by sending two tweets early Saturday morning, accusing the Hamilton actors of having “harassed” Pence after the show and demanding an apology.
Let’s remember for a second what it was that the actors said that seemingly forced the president-elect to stop planning for the transition to the White House in order to send out critical tweets. “We welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical—we really do,” actor Brandon Victor Dixon said after the curtain call. “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 work on behalf of all of us.” He then went on: “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.”
Yep, that’s it. Trump’s reaction to what were really tame words shocked the Hamilton cast and raised fears about how the president-elect will handle criticism once he is in the Oval Office.
It seems at least some of Trump’s supporters saw the president-elect’s tweets as a cultural battle cry. An audience member interrupted the Hamilton show in Chicago on Saturday night shouting, “We won! You Lost! Get over it! Fuck you!” The audience member, who was apparently very drunk, reportedly started yelling when the audience cheered at the famous line, “immigrants, we get the job done.”
Update at 4:05 p.m.: Pence doesn’t appear to have taken the plea delivered by the Hamilton actors quite as seriously as Trump. “I wasn’t offended,” Pence said on Fox News Sunday. The vice president–elect said he would not be asking for an apology. Pence said he, his daughter, and her cousins “enjoyed the show” and that he “reminded them this is what freedom sounds like.”