Comedian, actor and composer Tim Minchin this morning weighed in on the controversial speech delivered by the cast of Broadway musical Hamilton to US vice president elect Mike Pence.
Speaking on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show to promote the Australian tour of Matilda, Minchin was asked if he would support the cast of one of his shows singling out an audience member for a political statement.
Minchin responded, “yeah, of course.”
“Who said there are rules about what you’re allowed to do on stage?” Minchin said.
“[Pence] is a world famous homophobe, and he went to Broadway, which is the safe place of gay, wonderful creative people. Broadway is full of wonderful, gay, hard-working people.
“And he is a self-professed … one of the most powerful now, the most powerful, homophobe in the world. So what did you expect, mate?
“If you came to Matilda and you were known to beat up kids, I hope my cast would say something.”
— The Morning Show (@morningshowon7) November 22, 2016
Minchin went on to refer to Pence’s record on climate change and evolution, as well as his push to direct funding away from HIV/AIDS research and support centres towards institutions “which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior”.
That statement has been taken as support of the often cruel and inhumane gay conversion therapies practiced in certain areas around the world, but Pence’s supporters argue that he was merely advocating for “abstinence”.
“Make no mistake about my politics — I have no sympathy for Mike Pence, a climate denying, evolution denying homophobe,” Minchin continued. “These are factual things that he’s pretending don’t exist. The fact that he’s vice president of America, I mean…
“He’s lucky he didn’t get someone trying to electrocute convert him to homosexuality, which is what he thinks gays should do, the other way around.”
Minchin was asked if there was much comedic value in writing a musical about Donald Trump.
“As a satirist, people are like ‘are you going to write a Trump song?’, and I know American comedians are all like ‘oh my god’. It doesn’t work any more to laugh at a fool. The fool is now the king. When the jester becomes the king, what do we do?”