Earlier this week, news surfaced that, following the contoversy about the Rockettes‘ impending performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration, the dance troupe’s owner James Dolan held a closed-door meeting with the dancers.
The meeting, which took place on December 27 and was leaked to Marie Claire, was strange to say the least. Dolan—who also owns Madison Square Garden and the New York Knicks—clearly wanted to smooth things over, but while he did seem to give the dancers an opportunity to air their grievances, he also doubled down on the Rockettes’ commitment to the performance and the potential positive impact it could have on their ticket sales. He also mentioned that the performance would not hurt the brand, though he insisted that it shouldn’t be construed as a gesture of support for Trump.
The funny thing about that last claim, though, is that Dolan himself is a Trump backer.
The Daily Beast looked at campaign finance documents compiled by Open Secrets and found that Dolan donated $2,700 to Trump in September of 2016. He also made a number of donations ranging from $868 to $10,000 to various state Republican parties, including North Carolina’s, which just pulled an insane legislative heist to curb newly minted Democratic governor Roy Cooper’s power.
To be fair, Dolan did donate to Hillary Clinton back in 2008 during her failed Democratic presidential nomination bid and according to a statement provided to the Daily Beast, the last two times the Rockettes performed for the inauguration (2000 and 2004), Dolan supported Al Gore and John Kerry respectively.
Today he’s certainly a Trump supporter, but what’s even more concerning is that he clearly doesn’t see a problem offering the services of a troupe of women, some of whom are very reluctant to perform, to celebrate the inauguration of a man who has discussed the breasts of his infant daughter, has disparaged the bodies of women, seems to believe that sexual assault in the military is inevitable, called a woman “disgusting” for breastfeeding, and of course BOASTED ABOUT SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMEN. I suppose they gotta sell those tickets somehow. Having donated to Clinton eight years ago doesn’t lend Dolan neutrality or credibility, particularly if he’s clearly more than willing to throw a bunch of women under the bus under the guise of patriotism to get in good with the Trump administration.