Why Actors Shouldn’t Command Attention When They’re Off Script

By | 2016-11-19T13:26:21-07:00 November 19th, 2016|
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27921193202_4321eaaac0_bThat Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed and subjected to an obnoxious harangue last night at a performance of the Broadway production, Hamilton, is by now old news. USA Today and many users of social media, in reporting this, were evidently tripped up by the application of the word “irony” as they sought to suggest that Pence’s decision to attend the highly-acclaimed musical about our nation’s founding fit the meaning:

Social media reacted fiercely to Pence — who is a born-again evangelical Christian that believes marriage should be between a man and a woman — and the irony of his decision to watch the diverse Broadway hit . . .

The content of the harangue from Brandon Victor Dixon, the cast member who plays Aaron Burr in the show, evidenced a complete lack of self-awareness, to say nothing of the concept of irony:

Vice-president elect Mike Pence, we welcome you and truly thank you for joining us at Hamilton American Musical. 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. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.

We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientation.

“We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us.” [emphasis added]

As my friend Robert Pondiscio noted today on Facebook:

A show about a Vice President who shoots a rival and gets away with it? Are you sure you *want* him to be inspired by Hamilton?

Touché . . . though I suppose that doesn’t really work, either, when speaking of dueling with pistols.

About the Author:

Julie Ponzi
Julie Ponzi is Senior Editor of American Greatness. She holds an M.A. in political philosophy and American politics from the Claremont Graduate University. She was an Earhart Fellow and a Bradley Foundation Fellow while studying at Claremont and also earned a Publius Fellowship from The Claremont Institute. Formerly the Director of Academic Programs at the Claremont Institute, she also taught American politics at Azusa Pacific University. Her writing has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, The Online Library of Law and Liberty, The Columbus Dispatch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Times. She was also a regular and long-time contributor to the Ashbrook Center's blog, No Left Turns. She lives in California. You can follow her on Twitter at @JuliePonzi