Rockette Speaks Out About Performing for Trump’s Inauguration
News| | By Steven Lerner
With just a few weeks before the January 20 inauguration of the 45th president, Donald Trump seems to have problems booking entertainers to perform at the event. One of the few groups actually scheduled to perform at the inauguration are the Rockettes, but that might be subject to change.
According to Perez Hilton, a dancer with the Rockettes named Phoebe Pearl spoke out against performing for Trump in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed,” Pearl reportedly wrote. “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.”
Pearl’s Instagram post has since been deleted.
In an email obtained by BroadwayWorld, the American Guild of Variety Artists — the union that represents the Rockettes — confirmed the social media post and said that boycotting the inauguration is “invalid.”
“Everyone has a right to an opinion, but this does not change your employment status for those who are full time,” the email reportedly read. “If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated [to perform].”
The email forcing the Rockette dancers to perform at Trump’s inauguration sparked immediate backlash from both Democrats and Republicans.
The members of the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle are like all of us: Forced to go along with something horrible they didn't choose.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 23, 2016
— Deplorable C. Crunch (@greenrotgut) December 23, 2016
It's kinda funny how Trump is anti-union but is depending on union rules to fill up his inauguration hour with unwilling workers #Rockettes
— Lolatakesontheworld (@lolatakesontheW) December 23, 2016
Madison Square Garden Company — which employs the dancers — set the record straight on Friday by stating that no dancer will be compelled to attend the inauguration. In other words, the dancers now have a choice to perform at the inauguration or not.
Your Daily Dish reached out to Pearl for a comment.