Lin-Manuel Miranda on if he’d visit the White House during Trump’s administration
Earlier this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda traded New York for Washington when he and the cast of Hamilton paid a visit to the White House. Now, with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama less than a month away from departing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the creator of the Broadway smash is weighing whether he’d return once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
“I mean, yeah. I don’t know what that invite looks like, honestly, but yeah,” he said during an interview on Elliott Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller’s Rap Radar podcast. “I think it’s been a hell of a year, and something that I have been proud of [with Hamilton] is that people on lots of different sides of the political spectrum have responded well to the show. I think it’s because our country’s history is really complicated and there’s a lot of really dark chapters to it.”
“But we all live here now. It is important to talk about how we got here, and what we want the best version of it to be going forward,” Miranda continued. “We’ll make steps forward to some people, sideways to some people and backwards to some people. We all live here now and it is our responsibility to enact the best of our ideals and work through the contradictions and the obstacles that were present at the founding … I’m not leaving. I’m not moving to Canada or London. I hate leaving 181st street! I think the best of our country is worth fighting for.”
Miranda departed the lead role in Hamilton in July and has spent the subsequent months promoting Disney’s animated hit Moana, for which he wrote some of the songs, and gearing up for his role alongside Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. Hamilton has continued on at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and the production made headlines last month when Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance and cast member Brandon Victor Dixon read a statement to him from the stage during the curtain call. (Trump tweeted at the time that the cast “harassed” Pence and demanded they apologize.)
“We didn’t have much of a heads up,” Miranda recalled. “We found out he was going to be there at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We have always spoken to the people who have come to our show. That’s not a partisan thing… The fact that Pence was there, we weren’t trying to make any partisan anything. The goal was, there are a lot of people scared as a result of this election. We hope you lead all of us. You act on your pledge to lead all of us… to me, that [message] being seen as divisive speaks to how really divided we are right now. Because I think that is an olive branch. To his credit, he took is that way… I was really grateful that he stopped to listen. He didn’t have to stop… I will always be grateful for him having that dialogue with us – regardless of the noise around it.”