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Trump demands apology after VP-elect Pence booed at 'Hamilton' musical

Cast tells Pence they hope administration will uphold American values. "We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us."
19 Nov 2016 – 11:04 AM EST
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President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology over a letter read out on stage by a member of the rap musical cast expressing concern about his future administration's respect for American rights and values.

The letter was addressed to Vice President-elect Mike Pence who was in the audience at the New York theater and was the target of some booing.

"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,” the letter said.

Trump tweeted that the cast had been "very rude" and harassed Pence.

"The theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!" he wrote.

The cast member, Brandon Victor Dixon, replied by denying any lack of civility.

"@realDonaldTrump conversation is not harassment sir," he wrote. "And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen."

Dixon, who played Aaron Burr in the musical about America's founding fathers, read his prepared statement after the show as Pence was leaving and was captured on video posted on social media.

“We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us,” Dixon said as audience members cheered and clapped.

Trump fired back on Sunday in another tweet calling the show "highly overrated," and calling out the cast "for their terrible behavior."

The cast's statement came hours after President-elect Trump picked three conservative loyalists to lead his national security and law enforcement teams, underscoring his campaign promise to take a hard line confronting Islamist militancy and curbing illegal immigration.

Trump's critics have accused him of being a racist after he made campaign vows to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport millions of illegal immigrants and scrutinize Muslims for ties to terrorism.

Since his election, the real-estate mogul has called for unity as anti-Trump protests unfolded across the country.

Pence was met with a mix of boos and cheers as he entered the Richard Rodgers Theater in Manhattan before the performance, the New York Times reported.

"Hamilton" is a musical biography of Alexander Hamilton, who rose to become the right-hand man of General George Washington, as well as 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 an 1804 duel with then Vice-President Aaron Burr.

The musical has been hailed as transforming both theater and the way Americans think about 18th century history, immigration and diversity. The show stands in contrast to some of the rhetoric Trump used during the campaign, the Times noted.

The election was "painful and crushing" for cast members, the show's producer Jeffrey Seller told the Times.

"We are honored that Mr. Pence attended the show, and we had to use this opportunity to express our feelings," said Seller, who helped write Dixon's remarks.

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