Morning Joe Slams Hamilton Audience, Cast for Booing, Lecturing Pence: 'Awful'

November 21, 2016

Even left-leaning members of MSNBC's Morning Joe panel on Monday slammed the cast and audience of "Hamilton" for respectively lecturing and booing Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended the hit Broadway show last week.

Host Joe Scarborough praised the message of the hip-hop musical about America's founding, but his voice dripped with disdain for that sentiment not reaching people in the theater that night.

"If you go in there with an open mind, you can respect people with whom you disagree, and I think that's the thing that Hamilton taught me," Scarborough said.

Scarborough said that after seeing the smash hit, he hoped other Republicans would view it as well. He feigned not knowing what co-host Mika Brzezinwki was talking about when she, with a pained expression, recounted that Pence, his young daughter, and other family members were booed when they entered the theater to see "Hamilton" on Friday.

"Wait a second. This is New York City!" Scarborough said. "I thought people in the flyover space were supposed to be really closed-minded."

"There were some people applauding, but there were a lot of boos," Brzezinski said.

In addition to the booing, "Hamilton" performer Brandon Victor Dixon directly addressed Pence after the show ended and read out a pre-written statement expressing their concerns about a Donald Trump presidency. He even encouraged the audience to record it with their phones to spread the message. The Hamilton cast was not shy about its support for Democrat Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

"We, sir, 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," Dixon said. "We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us."

The crowd cheered Dixon's remarks. Pence paused to hear the actor out before departing the theater.

"It was not a good night," Brzezinski said after describing the events, adding it was "the wrong thing to do."

Former Democratic National Committee chairman and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell agreed.

"Absolutely," Rendell said. "There have to be limits. Public officials have to have some space that's off-limits."

Scarborough noted that he attends Bruce Springsteen concerts, and "The Boss" often talks politics on the stage but does not single out people in the crowd.

"There are so many ways they could have done it—especially when you're bringing your kids," Scarborough said.

"Just awful," Rendell muttered. "If they want to hold a press conference and deliver a message to the president or vice president, or hand him a letter, but that .... awful."

Pence, in spite of the spectacle, praised the "incredible" show on Sunday and said the remarks by the cast were "what freedom sounds like."