Rockettes Dancer: Dancing for Trump ‘Disrespecting’ People We Work With
A member of the Radio City Rockettes spoke out against President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the group’s upcoming performance at his inauguration next month.
The Hill reports:
Mary, a pseudonym for one of the dancers, told Marie Claire she felt that dancing at the inauguration would be “disrespecting” many on the staff she works with, including immigrants and LGBT people.
“These are our friends and our family, who we’ve worked with for years. It’s a basic human-rights issue,” she said.
Mary said she doesn’t know yet of any women of color who have signed up to perform for the inauguration.
“It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups,” she told the publication.
“They’re going to be branded in history as one of those women,” Mary said. “How’s it going to look?”
She also expressed concern that performing at the inauguration would brand the Rockettes in a particular way.
“This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing,” she said. “There’s a reason why everyone else is turning this down. Why are we not?”
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue — this is a women’s rights issue,” she continued. “This is an issue of racism and sexism, something that’s much bigger than politics. We walk into work and everyone has different political views.”
She said the majority of the stage crew were supporters of the president-elect but a large part of the rest of the staff is liberal.
“It’s the ensemble. It’s the people in our wardrobe and hair department, some of whom are transgender,” she said.
“I feel like dancing for Trump would be disrespecting the men and women who work with us, the people we care about,” she said.
In the shows the group has performed since the announcement, Mary said there have been a lot of empty seats in the audience.
“There aren’t usually empty seats the day before Christmas,” she said.
She added: “Why would they want to pay $100+ for a ticket to support someone who doesn’t support all human rights? Women’s rights?”
The producers for the Rockettes said last week that the group’s members won’t be forced to perform at Trump’s inauguration. Many groups have declined to perform at the event.
“If I had to lose my job over this, I would. It’s too important,” Mary told Marie Claire. “And I think the rest of the performing arts community would happily stand behind me.”
Photo credit: Group On.