- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Rockette is speaking out against President-elect Donald Trump, saying her fellow Radio City dancers were reduced to tears after learning they would be performing at his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Mary, who spoke to Marie Claire magazine under a pseudonym for fear of retribution from her employers, said one of her coworkers sobbed throughout a 90-minute show Thursday because she feels as though she’s being “forced to perform” for someone she considers a “monster.”

Mary said the dancers learned about the inauguration performance through news reports. After a reported email from the troupe’s union said participation was mandatory for full-time dancers, the troupe’s employers at Madison Square Garden clarified that the event would be voluntary and no Rockettes would be compelled to perform.

“It is always their choice,” Madison Square Garden said Friday. “In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available.”

Mary said the decision for the Rockettes to perform at Mr. Trump’s inauguration has created a rift in the company.

“There is a divide in the company now, which saddens me most,” she told Marie Claire. “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.”

She said that to her knowledge, no women of color have signed up to perform at the event.

“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.”

“This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing,” she added.

The Rockettes performed in 2001 and 2005 at the inaugurations of Republican President George W. Bush, for whom Mary said she would have been happy to perform.

“We do a lot of events, but there have been no events that could cause trauma. And doing this would cause trauma for some people,” she said of Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

“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.”

Mary’s comments come four days after Rockette Phoebe Pearl wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post that she was “disappointed” and “embarrassed” that the group would be performing for Mr. Trump.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide