The Inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th American President has taken on a truly morbid tone as the performers for the Radio City Rockettes thought they were going to be forced to perform at Trump’s ceremony on January 20.
As it so happens, the Rockettes found out just a few days before Christmas that they had been booked to perform at the Donald Trump inauguration ceremony and the news was enough to bring them to tears during a performance at their Christmas Spectacular, a world famous event.
When Marie Claire caught up to one of the performers for the show, only cited as “Mary,” they got some insight into what it meant to them if they were forced to perform for Donald Trump. Mary, although she had not been in tears at the moment, was standing next to a female performer who had tears staining her face while she hit her marks during the performance, although clearly distraught.
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Mary told them that they all felt as though they were going to be forced to perform for a “monster.” Mary, along with other performers with the Rockettes, expressed their sincere concern about being forced to stand next to Donald Trump in their costumes, which are somewhat provocative and some might say that it would cause a sexual predator to act out on his illness.
“If I had to lose my job over this (refusing to perform for Donald Trump), I would,” Mary told Marie Claire. “It’s too important. And I think the rest of the performing arts community would happily stand behind me.”
What Mary described about her fellow performers is that they are all distraught because they were afraid they were going to lose their jobs if they refused to perform. Since the interview with Mary has taken place though, the Radio City Rockettes management, Madison Square Garden Company, have come out with a statement and said that they would not force their performers to do something they did not want to do, thus giving them a free pass to opt-out of the performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural [of Donald Trump],” the statement said. “For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice. In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations.”
The statement seemed to have an ominous tone to it, like they were insinuating that their girls all wanted to perform at the show. But nevertheless, they excused any performers, such as Mary, from performing at the event should they not want to.
“This is where it gets tricky,” Mary told Marie Claire. “Thirteen girls are full-time year-round Rockettes, and they sign a contract saying that aside from approved vacation time, they will be available to do any and all work. The rest of us are seasonally contracted: 80 dancers, two casts of 40 women each.”
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So according to Mary, the contract performers on the Rockettes show got an e-mail that basically excuses their absence from the Donald Trump inauguration, which simply asked what their availability was. But the full time performers got a very different e-mail that gave them the details of the Donald Trump Inauguration ceremony, but did not give them the option to opt-out of the show.
It is unclear at this time if the statement released by Madison Square Garden Company is a blanket statement for all performers or if the full-time performers would be forced to play at the Inauguration of Donald Trump.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]