President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day plans could be spoiled thanks to a bunch of celebrities reportedly planning an anti-Trump “Freedom Concert” to register their protest against his presidency on the same day he is set to take over the reins from outgoing President Barack Obama.
Over the course of the last few weeks, several celebrities have been approached to perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day ceremony on January 20, 2017. But most of the entertainers approached by the Trump transition team have turned down the offer to perform at his Inauguration because of political and personal discrepancies with the new President-elect. In such a scenario, as The Wrap reported, Trump’s team have allegedly taken an unconventional route to try and populate the ceremony with A-list stars.
“They are willing to pay anything,” one source told the media outlet.
“They told me, ‘We’ll pay their fees.’ Most of these artists’ fees are in the six to seven figures.”
Usually, entertainers don’t charge for performing at a presidential inauguration because it is considered honorable to perform at a presidential event, but with Trump, even promises of huge money do not seem enough to convince A-list stars to perform at Trump’s Inauguration.
The desperation seems to have hit the Trump team so hard that his former campaign manager and now adviser Kellyanne Conway recently took to national television to make a plea to Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, asking them to call her to be part of the festivities, according to CNN.
But despite everything, not many celebrities seem willing to perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day event. As AV Club reported, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock are the only musicians willing to perform at the event at this point, with 16-year-old American Idol runner-up Jackie Evancho having been confirmed as the singer who will sing the National Anthem. The Inquisitr had earlier reported that famed tenor Andrea Bocelli, who was rumored to be one of the performers at Trump’s Inauguration ceremony, backed off after a fierce social media backlash. In fact, just this last Thursday, it was confirmed that dancers with The Radio City Rockettes would perform at the event, but now BBC is reporting that the dancers have refused to take part at Donald Trump’s event.
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” Phoebe Pearl, a member of the Rockettes, wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Donald Trump has, of course, vented his anger at the pulling out of celebrities on Twitter, claiming that popular Hillary Clinton supporters have been asking his transition team for tickets to the event.
The so-called "A" list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
And now the new President-elect’s problems might be compounded with reports suggesting that some breakaway performers are planning to do a “Freedom Concert” on the same day as the Inauguration, mostly as a symbolic gesture to register their protest against Donald Trump’s presidency, but also to give his Inauguration a run for money for TV ratings.
Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, first proposed the idea of a televised “Freedom Concert” on his Facebook page, adding that such an initiative could generate huge funds for a variety of issues other than also giving Donald Trump’s transition team a tough time.
This is what Robert Reich wrote to more than 1.7 million followers on Facebook.
“The Trump people are upset that the only musicians willing to perform at the Trump inauguration are Kid Rock and Ted Nugent.
“Someone just suggested to me a televised ‘freedom concert’ to air at the same time as the inauguration — with huge celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z, Madonna, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and so on. Alec Baldwin MC’s the event, playing Trump as he does on SNL.
“Presto. The Trump inauguration loses all the TV ratings. Basically, no one watches it.
“Even better, the proceeds of the freedom concert go to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, NAACP, Common Cause, CAIR, IRAP, SPLC, Environmental Defense Fund, Human Rights Campaign Fund, MoveOn, Economic Policy Institute, Inequality Media, and GLAD.
“What do you think?”
Since Reich floated the idea, it has been widely shared and disseminated. A Change.org initiative asking A-list celebrities to boycott Donald Trump’s Inauguration and instead do a “Freedom Concert” has gained more than 77,000 signatures at the time of writing.
I don't tweet petitions, but this is a fine idea: a Freedom Concert on inauguration day to benefit orgs we'll need. https://t.co/2Zs10gN5f5
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) December 20, 2016
While it is still unlikely, if such a “Freedom Concert” does in fact materialize, it will perhaps be the biggest cultural protest to Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the White House.
Do you think it is possible?
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]