Michael Moore tests the limits of free speech in his new one-man Broadway show during a segment in which he appears to call the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a death threat against him.
According to the New York Daily News, the Broadway show The Terms of My Surrender — which the left-wing documentary filmmaker has previously described as an effort to “discombobulate” President Donald Trump — features a bit in which Moore describes what appeared to be a death threat against him made by conservative commentator Glenn Beck in 2005.
Beck’s voice is reportedly heard in the Belasco Theater as the audio is played back for the audience:
“I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it,” Beck reportedly said at the time. “No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?”
In the play, Moore explains that Beck faced no punishment for his comments, and wonders aloud whether he could use the same expression to make the same threat about an elected official.
“I’m thinking about killing Andrew Cuomo,” Moore says in a phone call to the governor’s office (it was reportedly unclear whether Moore had actually called Cuomo’s office). “And I’m wondering if I could kill him myself or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.”
The Daily News reported that Moore told the audience he was not sure whether the segment would remain in the show when it ends its preview run on Thursday.
The controversial segment was just one of several politically-charged moments during Terms of My Surrender, in which Moore also takes aim at Trump and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“We have to admit that Trump outsmarted us. He was crazy enough to know where the state of Wisconsin is — and to go there,” Moore says at one point in a jab at Clinton, according to the Wrap.
The Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine director drastically stepped up his political advocacy in the wake of Trump’s presidential candidacy and eventual victory.
Shortly before the November election, Moore released an unannounced documentary, Michael Moore in TrumpLand, which was highly critical of the Republican’s candidacy, though a clip from the film in which he explains Trump’s appeal to blue-collar voters was subsequently taken out of context and went viral among Trump supporters online.
Just before Trump’s inauguration in January, Moore led a star-studded protest outside Trump Tower in Manhattan alongside actors Alec Baldwin and Mark Ruffalo, in which he called on Americans to engage in “100 days of resistance” to Trump’s presidency.
More recently, Moore has suggested in several media interviews that the Democratic Party should run a celebrity against Trump in the 2020 presidential election, floating “beloved” names including Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey.
The Terms of My Surrender opens Thursday at the Belasco Theater and is set to run for 12 weeks.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum