It’s only been two weeks since Donald Trump was elected US president, and he’s already had his first official Twitter meltdown. Held up as the anti-PC candidate, many argued that Trump was the straight-talking antidote to the current culture of offence-taking. However, if Trump’s Twitter activity over the weekend is anything to go by, this is far from the truth.
On Friday night, Trump’s future vice-president, Mike Pence, took his family to see the hit musical Hamilton on Broadway. After being booed by the audience, Pence was addressed from the stage by the black lead actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, and asked to spread the message that the cast were concerned that his ‘new administration will not protect us’. Dixon continued: ‘We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.’
The morning after, Trump claimed that Pence had been harassed, firing out four tweets demanding an apology from Dixon and the rest of the cast, for being ‘very rude’. ‘Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theatre by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!’, he tweeted. ‘The theatre must always be a safe and special place.’
Speaking on Fox News on Sunday morning, Pence was quick to point out that he wasn’t offended by any of the comments made. In fact, he had stayed to listen after being called out from the stage. In response to Trump’s tweet, Dixon himself replied: ‘Conversation is not harassment, sir. And I appreciate Mike Pence for stopping to listen.’
So why was Trump so quick to cry foul over what seemed to be a perfectly reasonable, if a little dramatic, exchange? Why has Trump, the man who isn’t scared of saying anything, used the PC rhetoric of Safe Spaces and offence over some very polite heckling?