A union representing the Radio City Rockettes is pushing back against a rumor that the famed New York dance company wants to boycott Donald Trump‘s presidential inauguration, calling any such talk “invalid.”
Soon after Rockettes owner MSG Entertainment confirmed the Rockettes’ participation in the inauguration, dancer Phoebe Pearl posted a now-deleted message on her personal Instagram account to say she was “embarrassed and disappointed.”
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. 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. 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. We will not be forced! #notmypresident” Pearl wrote.
The American Guild of Variety Artists called any talk of a boycott by the dancers “invalid,” according to an email seen by BroadwayWorld.
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The email reads: “We have received an email from a Rockette expressing concern about getting ‘involved in a dangerous political climate’ but I must remind you that you are all employees, and as a company, Mr. [Madison Square Garden Company Chairman James] Dolan obviously wants the Rockettes to be represented at our country’s Presidential inauguration, as they were in 2001 & 2005. Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid, I’m afraid.”
The email continues in bolded, underlined font: “If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated. Doing the best performance to reflect an American Institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job. I hope this pulls into focus the bottom line on this work.”
Trump’s inauguration festivities have been shrouded in drama — as well as secrecy — as he struggles to find performers willing to participate. The president-elect shot down criticism that his inauguration festivities are struggling.
“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING,” Trump tweeted Thursday night, adding, “I want the PEOPLE!”
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner