The inauguration ceremony for incoming president Donald Trump has many people unsure of what to expect and undecided about whether or not they’d like to attend.
Trump himself has already complained about the “A-list” celebrities and performers who have declined invites to participate in the inauguration and among those struggling with the decision to attend are some of the women on the famous Rockettes dance team.
On December 22, CNBC reported that the Rockettes were allegedly “pressured” into their confirmed performance at the inauguration next month by the union. While the union quickly issued a statement clarifying they were sensitive to the legitimate concerns expressed by some of the Rockettes who’d stated they weren’t happy about having to perform for Trump, and Madison Square Garden also made it clear that none of the dancers are contractually obligated to participate, some of the women are reportedly still fearful their jobs are in jeopardy if they opt out.
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“This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing. There’s a reason why everyone else is turning this down. Why are we not?,” said a Rockette who asked to be identified only as “Mary” during a recent interview with Marie Claire.
The dancer referenced Trump’s consistent history of misogynistic, sexist actions and comments. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes,” Mary said another dancer wrote in an email, according to The Huffington Post.
Mary also noted the lack of diversity in the Rockettes, adding that having a group of White dancers perform before a man who has promoted hatred of people of color is shameful. “It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty White girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups,” she added.
Lastly, the dancer addressed how the conversation surrounding the inauguration is about much more than just politics. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue ― this is a women’s rights issue,” she said. “This is an issue of racism and sexism, something that’s much bigger than politics.”