Stars at the American Music Awards defend Hamilton cast

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Stars at the American Music Awards have defended the cast of Hamilton after they delivered a speech to the vice-president elect at the New York musical.

President-elect Donald Trump has demanded an apology following the cast's statement which urged Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who had been booed when he was in the audience for the hit musical, to protect diversity.

Broadway star Idina Menzel said the theatre is the perfect place to provoke thought.
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"It's the right place and it's beautiful and that's what theatre's all about. It's about being thought-provoking," Idina said.

"And it's just unfortunate that someone who's going to be our president doesn't embrace that as a freedom of speech and the arts, and sort of celebrate that moment... I'm really proud of all my friends in Hamilton and I thought it took a lot of courage," she said.

And from the stage, Idina, who was presenting an award, declared, "I love you Hamilton!"

Producer Diplo echoed her support for free speech.

(Mark Cuban, left, and Idina Menzel present the award for favourite country duo/group at the American Music Awards (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
(Mark Cuban, left, and Idina Menzel present an award (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"People can say whatever they want. That's what's great about America," he said. "That's awesome those guys took a second to speak, and they made a story about it, so that's even better. It breeds awareness."

Diplo (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Diplo (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Actress Keke Palmer said the presidential nominees ushered in "a new age" with their disrespectful tone during the campaign.

"People should have a certain amount of respect for the government and the president and the vice president, but the president and the vice president and all those people should have a certain amount of respect for the people that they're catering to," she said. "You can't create a disrespectful atmosphere and then not expect the people to disrespect you back."