A Rockette Speaks Out About Performing at the Trump Inauguration

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  The Rockettes perform on stage during the "Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes" Opening Night at Radio City Music Hall on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)

A Rockette Speaks Out About Performing at the Trump Inauguration

“There’s a reason why everyone else is turning this down. Why are we not?”

Published December 27, 2016

Donald Trump’s struggle to book major acts for his inauguration has become something of a running joke. The only famed performers he’s managed to bring on are the Rockettes, and they’re none too pleased about it — which is to be expected. If you’re a woman in a tiny sequined outfit, it’s pretty logical to fear being near the Donald.

When the news first broke, there were claims that the dancers would be contractually obligated to participate. The American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) then issued a statement saying that performing at the inauguration would be optional. But now an actual Rockette has spoken out in an anonymous interview with Marie Claire. When asked about whether or not dancers would be forced to take part in the inauguration, she revealed that Rockettes feared that they’d lose their jobs if they turned down the gig. “It will be interesting to see who doesn’t get their job back,” she said. “But do you really want to work for a company that supports this? I just don’t know. It’s become a moral issue at this point.”

And what of the Rockettes who said yes to Trump? “There is a divide in the company now, which saddens me most,” said the dancer. “The majority of us said no immediately. Then there’s the percentage that said yes, for whatever reason — whether it’s because they’re young and uninformed, or because they want the money, or because they think it’s an opportunity to move up in the company when other people turn it down.”

The Rockette also noted that no women of color would be participating. “It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups,” she said. “They’re going to be branded in history as one of those women. How’s it going to look?”

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue — this is a women’s rights issue,” she continued. “It’s a basic human rights issue. We have immigrants in the show. I feel like dancing for Trump would be disrespecting the men and women who work with us, the people we care about.”

Written by Jocelyn Silver

(Photo: Monica Schipper/WireImage)

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