Two-time Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon appeared as the opening guest of the 7:30 AM segment on CBS This Morning November 21 to speak about his remarks made November 18 to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence.
The VP-Elect attended the Friday evening performance of Hamilton on Broadway—where Dixon plays Aaron Burr, a U.S. Vice President—with his daughter and her cousins.
Pence received a mixed reception from the audience upon his entrance to the theatre—a mix of boos and applause. In lieu of bows at the time of curtain call, Dixon delivered a speech that had been crafted by Hamilton lead producer Jeffrey Seller, creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, and the current cast of Hamilton on Broadway.
Seller called Dixon approximately an hour-and-a-half prior to curtain time to ask him to deliver the speech at the end of the night.
President-Elect Donald Trump took to Twitter, demanding an apology from Hamilton. No such apology has been issued. On the November 20 episode of Face the Nation, Pence praised the performance and said he was not offended by the statement delivered to him by Dixon.
Dixon joined co-hosts Gayle King, Charlie Rose, and Nora O’Donnell to share his perspective on the turn of events.
“We recognize that Hamilton is an inherently American story told by the definition of the American community: We are men, women of different colors, creeds, and orientations,” said Dixon. “The resonant nature of the show throughout the global community demands that we make statements when there are important issues I think facing us as a community, so we wanted to stand up and spread a message of love and of unity considering all of the emotional out-pour since the election.”
President-Elect Trump tweeted that this presentation by the cast was harassment, to which Dixon responded, “Conversation is not harassment, and I was really appreciative that Vice President-Elect Pence stood there and listened to what we had to say.”
Some have criticized the cast, saying that it was not the time or manner in which to confront the government official, that it should have been done backstage. Dixon clarified that guests of the show, particularly political figures, have an open invitation to visit the cast backstage, but there were no plans for Pence to do so on Friday. He extended an invitation to the VP-Elect to return and come backstage. He also invited Trump to come see the show.
“I was honored to represent our cast and our show in that way,” said Dixon. “For me, I think the most important thing with respect to all of the emotions that everybody is feeling after this election is to make sure that people recognize that we are not alone, we are here together, and we need to listen to one another and speak to one another, and those of us who feel like maybe their voice has been marginalized or might become marginalized, it’s important that they recognize that there are allies all over the place.”