Steven Van Zandt is likely best known as one of the members of The E Street Band alongside Bruce Springsteen. For others, he might be Silvio, Tony Soprano’s consigliere and owner of the Bada Bing on The Sopranos. Today, a whole new group of people might know him as the guy who took Donald Trump’s side in the ongoing controversy surrounding Vice President-Elect Mike Pence and the cast of the musical Hamilton. That’s a fairly wayward assessment to make based on Van Zandt’s words alone, but it makes a little more sense once you begin to read the responses.
You have to start at the beginning, though, and for that, it starts following the events of Friday night and the online outrage from Trump and others in regards to the “lecture” aimed at Pence by the cast of the Broadway hit. It came at the end of the show, but this isn’t stopping Van Zandt in joining with others that are calling the situation a mistake:
For me, Van Zandt’s words are honest and respectable. I don’t know that I agree, but I feel that he’s coming from a place that is aiming to be genuine while also looking to fan the flames surrounding the musical. When you consider how many on both sides have reacted to the situation, taking a reasoned approach is admirable. There’s no cursing, no inflammatory language, and it’s just one guy sharing his opinion on the situation in a reasonable manner. This still did not sit well with many and in the end, Van Zandt was dragged into a series of replies with numerous people who disagreed. This includes longtime Law And Order star Richard Belzer:
It continues from there, with Van Zandt’s Twitter timeline bursting with replies and retweets featuring the musician attempting to defend his point of view with his detractors. It’s not a new situation for someone to face online, but it does show the difficulty in attempting to maintain varying levels of opinion in today’s world. It is possible to support the cast of Hamilton and millions of others, but also feel that this situation could’ve been avoided.
If you read some of the replies, it’s a little difficult to believe people would claim Steven Van Zandt is against them just for calling for civility in this certain controversy. Just based on his efforts against apartheid in South Africa alone, it is confusing that someone would question his stance on human rights. I don’t think anybody in this pocket is a fan of the incoming administration, but it’s a look at just how splintered folks can be at a smaller level.
(Via Steven Van Zandt)