Blue-collar champion Mike Rowe has found a massive following as a social commentator after his successful Discovery Channel gig ended back in 2012.
The former Dirty Jobs host has set his sights on the Broadway play “Hamilton” and the very public controversial post-play message actor Brandon Victor Dixon gave to show attendee Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Rowe, who has himself performed in operas, posted some wisdom on his Facebook page for both the cast of the play and President-elect Donald Trump, who has been sharply critical of the cast.
Starting the post with a “Hamlet” quote, “THE PLAY IS THE THING! I’ll have grounds more relative than this — the play’s the thing. Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King,” Rowe then launches into his answer to a fan’s question on the matter.
“I think the cast of Hamilton shared their feelings publicly because it felt really good to do so. Unfortunately, I think their comments diminished the impact of an excellent show, and probably accomplished the exact opposite of the playwright’s intent,” writes Rowe.
Sure, both GrubHub CEO Matt Malone and NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick have both presented controversial public expressions of opinion, but both did so to the detriment of their business and profession. And yet, the “Hamilton” cast didn’t need to do this, because, after all, the “play is the thing!”
In my opinion, that was a mistake. Because unlike athletes and CEO’s and protesters and millions of other concerned Americans with similar feelings, the cast of Hamilton didn’t have to deliver a lecture in order to make their point. Because the cast of Hamilton has at their disposal, a far more persuasive device. They have a play.
Hamilton is already a love letter to diversity. It’s a very persuasive homage to inclusiveness, individuality, and many other things that make America a place worth immigrating to. The play delivers that message to everyone – including people who may have voted for Trump and Pence. But the cast — speaking out as they did — failed to make the play more persuasive; they simply made it more personal. More partisan. Smaller. The cast forgot that the play is the thing! By sharing their personal feelings with paying customers, they turned a play into a polemic. And polemics are the most unpersuasive things of all.
Just remember, the first amendment does not include the right to be agreed with, or the right to be understood, or the right to express your feelings without consequences. Last I checked, Grub Hub stock is down over 10%. And the NFL ratings are down 14%.
Rowe also had some advice for Trump:
“As for Trump’s return tweet, I think he’s also mistaken. The theater should not be a “safe place for everyone.” If you want a safe place, go to Yale. Or Rutgers. Or Brown. Whatever else our universities are becoming, our theaters should continue to be a place that challenges us. A place that makes us think. A place that makes us occasionally uncomfortable. That’s what a good play can do. Assuming of course, the actors can stick to the script, and let the play speak for itself,” Rowe writes.
Check out the full Facebook post below:
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