- Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
Some members of the Radio City Rockettes dance troupe are worried they could lose their jobs if they don’t perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.
And the decision whether to perform at Trump’s ceremony is causing tension within the group, one of the dancers said in an interview with Marie Claire published on Tuesday.
The union representing the iconic dancers apparently made the group’s Jan. 20 performance optional, after public backlash over reports they would be forced to perform at Trump’s inauguration, according to the dancer, whom Marie Claire assigned the pseudonym, “Mary.”
“The majority of us said no immediately,” Mary told the magazine. “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.”
“If I had to lose my job over this, I would. It’s too important,” she said.
Trump’s transition team booked the Rockettes after struggling to land other acts to play the inauguration. Numerous high-profile entertainers have turned the gig down. And for the first time in five inaugurations, no Washington-area high-school marching band will play during the parade, NBC Washington reported.
The Rockettes dancer said she was concerned performing at the inauguration would associate the troupe with Trump’s incendiary rhetoric toward minority groups.
“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?”
The Rockettes performed at George W. Bush’s inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005.