Now this is a nightmare: A group of women having to perform at the inauguration of a president who coined the term “Grab em’ by the pussy.”
Unfortunately, that nightmare is real. Yesterday, it was announced that The Rockettes have been tapped to perform alongside the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16-year-old America’s Got Talent performer Jackie Evancho at president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th. And some of them are very, very unhappy about this.
In a now-deleted Instagram post first obtained by Perez Hilton, Rockette Phoebe Pearl expressed her displeasure.
“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 wrote alongside a Rockettes photo with the words ‘Not My President’ drawn on it. “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.”
Another anonymous Rockette told The Wrap that “forcing dozens of women to go and perform for this man is without a question going to be problematic.”
Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns the Rockettes, issued a statement on Friday insisting that, contrary to the way things had been portrayed, nobody who didn’t want to perform for Trump would have to:
“The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural,” read the statement. “For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice. In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations.”
The statement, however, came after a far more aggressive one put out by the American Guild of Variety Artists, a union which represents The Rockettes. The guild released a letter, obtained by Broadwayworld.com, to the dancers saying that any talk about boycotting the invent is “invalid.”
“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. 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,” reads the letter.
Even if the Rockettes aren’t being forced to perform, the notion of a group of women entertaining for a man who has not only made lewd comments, but has been repeatedly accused of sexual assault, is still very disturbing.
If only the Rockettes could just go back to doing their Christmas shows.
Note: the headline and body of this post have been updated to reflect the statement from Madison Square Garden Entertainment.