Steven Van Zandt accuses ‘Hamilton’ cast of ‘bullying’ Trump’s VP Mike Pence

E Street Band member says the Broadway cast made a "mistake" by addressing Pence from the stage when he attended a recent show.

Steven Van Zandt has criticised the cast of Broadway musical Hamilton for addressing Donald Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, during a recent performance.

Vice President-elect Pence attended the Friday night (November 18) performance of the Tony Award-winning musical in Manhattan. According to multiple reports, he was booed by audience members as he took his seat and again at various points in the show.

During the curtain call, cast member Brandon Dixon read out a message to Pence, who was in the process of leaving the venue. The message was reportedly jointly written by the show’s cast and producers, including creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Dixon said: “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. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us.”

Donald Trump has since accused the cast of “harassing” Pence as he attended the show.

Now Van Zandt, a longtime member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, has also argued that the cast’s message to Pence was misguided.

“Hamilton made a mistake. Audiences shouldn’t have to worry about being blindsided like that. Theater should be sanctuary for Art to speak,” he wrote on Twitter.

“You protect your guests. Don’t embarrass them,” he added in a follow-up tweet.

The guitarist also tweeted: “Nobody on this planet disagrees more with everything Pence represents. But I don’t tolerate bullying in any form. Even the respectful kind.”

Responding to a fan who asked how the cast’s behaviour could be deemed “bullying”, Van Zandt replied: “A guy comes to a Broadway show for a relaxing night out. Instead he gets a lecture from the stage! Not a level playing field. It’s bullying.”

Read a selection of his tweets about the incident below.