Hypocrisy? The producers of Hamilton accuse Pence of racism. The producers of Hamilton practice overt racism daily.
The cast of Hamilton publicly humiliated vice president-elect Mike Pence and suggested he and Trump were racists during one of their performances last night. Donald Trump has called for an apology.
The irony is that the producers of the musical have a public policy of hiring people based on their race. The City of New York and the Actors Equity Union both agree that their policy runs afoul of the New York City Human Rights Law.
The producers of Hamilton openly seek non-whites for their casts. The producer, Jeffrey Seller, believes that it is legal to publish a “non-white” casting notice. I’ve seen Hamilton and it is, bar none, the best musical I’ve ever seen. It is amazing and inspiring. I’m disappointed that the cast attacked our president-elect and vice president-elect, but I can’t suggest that you skip this musical. It is life changing. The casting is spot on — but their policy of not hiring whites is illegal.
Randolph McLaughlin, a New York civil rights lawyer, explained, “What if they put an ad out that said, ‘Whites only need apply? Why, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians would be outraged.” McLaughlin said Hamilton’s policy of only hiring non-whites is unlawful under the New York City Human Rights Law which makes it unlawful “for an employer to discriminate based on the race of any person. You cannot advertise showing that you have a preference for one racial group over another. As an artistic question — sure, he can cast whomever he wants to cast, but he has to give every actor eligible for the role an opportunity to try.”
Actors Equity, the union representing the cast of Hamilton, explained “…producers agree that auditions for all productions… will be conducted in such a manner as to provide full and fair consideration to actors of all ethnicities.”