Not long after it was announced Thursday that Radio City’s Rockettes agreed to be the third performer at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, one dancer let her feelings be known, the New York Post reported.
“I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” Phoebe Pearl wrote on her private Instagram account. It was the caption for a photo of the troupe with a word bubble with “Not my President!” over one of the dancers, presumably herself. She added that the Jan. 20 performance “makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed.”
James L. Dolan, executive chairman of the Rockettes’ parent company, The Madison Square Garden Company, said the brand is “honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities.”
The dancers have performed atpresidential kickoffs before, but it’s safe to say that this inauguration is a little different.
“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,” Pearl wrote, alluding to Trump’s past comments regarding women and accusations of assault.
According to an email from the dancers’ union that wasobtained and confirmed by BroadwayWorld,boycotting the event is not an option for Pearl or any other likeminded Rockettes.
“You are all employees, and as a company, Mr. Dolan obviously wants the Rockettes to be represented at our country’s Presidential inauguration, as they were in 2001 & 2005,” the email said. “Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid, I’m afraid… Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace.”
The email also added that full-time Rockettes are “obligated” to perform.
To that end, Pearl wrote, “I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. #notmypresident.”
After this story published, MSG Company issued the following statement:
“The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural. 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.”