The Radio City Rockettes are the third confirmed act for president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, and according to several reports many of the dancers are none too happy about the booking.
The appearance was confirmed Thursday in a statement by James Doland, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company, which was tweeted out by ABC News digital journalist Alex Mallin.
“The Radio City Rockettes, an original American brand, have performed at Radio City Music Hall since 1925 and, as treasured American icons, have taken part in some of the nation’s most illustrious events such as Super Bowl halftime shows, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades and presidential inaugurations, including in 2001 and 2005,” the statement read. “We are honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities.”
But since the news was made public, some dancers have taken to social media to protest their appearance at the event; claims are even being made that the women are being “forced” to do the show.
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” she said. “Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. 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 the news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. We will not be forced!”
Pearl ended her post with the hashtag #notmypresident.
The email reportedly said: “We have received an e-mail from a Rockette expressing concern about getting ‘involved in a dangerous political climate’ but I must remind you that are you all employees, as a company, Mr. Dolan obviously wants the Rockettes to be represented at our country’s Presidential inauguration, as they were in 2001 & 2005. Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid, I’m afraid.”
It continued: “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… Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace.”
The last portion of the e-mail read in bold: “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. Doing the best performance to reflect an American Institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job. I hope this pulls into focus the bottom line on this work.”
The full email can be read here.
Trump has not released an official statement on the matter.
Many on social media are expressing concern over the situation and are lending their support to the dance team.
Others, however, do not support the girls’ decisions to speak out.
According to the BBC, Trump has struggled to find A-list stars to perform at the January ceremony.
So far Trump has been able to snag America’s Got Talent contestant and opera singer Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The New York Times reports.