The Radio City Rockettes Are Being Forced To Perform At Trump’s Inaguration
News spread yesterday (Dec. 22) that the world famous Radio City Rockettes would be performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Members of the precision dance troupe have spoken out against the idea, however, it looks like they must perform no matter what.
An email sent to Broadway World confirmed the plans, which were made by Madison Square Garden’s Entertainment Chairman, James Dolan.
“We have been made aware of what is going on Facebook and other social media, however, this does not change anything unless Radio City has a change of heart,” wrote an administrator from the American Guild of Variety Artists, the union that represents the dancers, who are renowned for their Christmas show and kick-line.
“The ranting of the public is just that, ranting. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but this does not change your employment status for those who are full time. This has nothing to do with anyone’s political leanings (including AGVA’s), it has to do with your best performance for your employer, period. I will reiterate that if Hillary Clinton was the President-elect, nothing would be different, and there would probably be those who would not want to be involved because of her. It is a job, and all of you should consider it an honor, no matter who is being sworn in.”
“The election is over and this country will not survive if it remains divided,” the email continued. According to reports, there are about 36 dancers in the troupe- 12 are full-time and the rest are freelance. The freelance dancers can opt-out of the performance, while the full-time dancers must fulfill their contractual obligations regardless of setting.
Members of the Rockettes have expressed their disdain with the company’s decision. One Rockette named Phoebe Pearl wrote on Instagram, “The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. We will not be forced! #notmypresident.”
The theater community has not been silent about their feelings towards the President-elect and his VP, Mike Pence. The cast of Hamilton had a few words to say to Pence during a November curtain call about tolerance and acceptance of all citizens, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Trump used problematic rhetoric when it comes to women throughout his campaign, and dismissed comments about sexually assaulting women as “locker room talk.”