“The View” hosts Monday discussed the cast of Hamilton’s controversial speech to Mike Pence, with former Fox News host Jedediah Bila insisting the move “marginalized” the vice president-elect.
Sunny Hostin said she thought the statement was “important to be directed at Mike Pence,” noting the diverse cast, as well as lead cast member Javier Muñoz’s status as a gay, HIV-positive Puerto Rican man.
Sara Haines agreed, referencing Pence’s history of advocating for gay conversion therapy. “He actually redirected some funding from AIDs research to conversion,” Haines said.
In contrast, Bila said she “didn’t mind the statement” but minded “the way it was done.”
“I think there has to be a place—Mike Pence didn’t show up there as [vice] president-elect, he showed up with his daughter to see a play,” Bila argued as her co-hosts protested.
“This was not a political discussion,” Bila continued. “If I went to see a play, I’m very vocal politically on this show, if I went to see a play—“
“But you’re not vice president and they wouldn’t be doing this to you,” Whoopi Goldberg interjected.
“Maybe if I explain how this works you’ll understand it better,” Goldberg continued. The seven-time Broadway alum explained to Bila that once the cast realized Pence wouldn’t be coming backstage, they read the statement during curtain call “because they wrote this for him, they wrote this to him.”
Goldberg also pointed out there’s a precedent for cast members speaking out about important issues from the stage, including during Broadway Cares/Equality Fights AIDs events.
But Bila wasn’t convinced. “The way that I felt hearing it was, you’re basically marginalizing that person in the audience,” Bila argued. “You’re saying, ‘you’re part of the problem. I hope that you won’t be, but my perception of you is that you’re the other.’”
“What’s wrong with seizing the moment though?” Joy Behar asked “They’re not going to have this chance again. There he is, the perpetrator of anti-gay policies.”
Watch the clip below, via ABC: