Tony presenter Denée Benton criticizes Gov. Ron DeSantis in brutal comments on stage


Benton, a Florida native best known for her roles on Hamilton and Into the Woods, drew applause and breath from Manhattan audiences when she targeted the 2024 Republican presidential nominee by hitting him with a cou- Klux Klan leaders compared.

“And while I’m sure the current Grand Wizard, I’m sorry, excuse me, governor of my home state of Florida…” said Benton, who was released in 2017 for her role in “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.”

Benton’s remarks came as she paid tribute to Jason Zembuch Young, a teacher at South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla., and winner of the ceremony’s 2023 Excellence in Theater Education Award.

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