Friday, April 12, 2024

Radio City Rockettes Kicking Up a Storm About Dancing for Trump: Union and MSG May Make Them Do It


I told a while back Donald Trump would have trouble getting celebrities or performers for his Inauguration.

Late Thursday it was announced the Radio City Rockettes would dance on the program. But now it seems there’s a huge brouhaha brewing as some of the Rockettes don’t want to do it. Several posts went up on Twitter after midnight Friday claiming that if a Rockette declines to dance for Trump, they will be fired or sued.

There’s no word yet from Madison Square Garden, which owns the Rockettes, or their union, AGVA. James Dola, owner of all that stuff, was a major Republican donor in 2016. Just FYI. He gave around $150,000 to various state Republican committees. (But just $2,700 to Trump himself.) Dolan also donated $100,000 to a Republican SuperPAC called Long Islanders for Truth.

Madison Square Garden productions issued this statement: “The Radio City Rockettes, an original American brand, have performed at Radio City Music Hall since 1932 and, as treasured American icons, have taken part in some of the nation’s most illustrious events such as Super Bowl halftime shows, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades and presidential inaugurations, including in 2001 and 2005. We are honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities.”

So far the Trump camp has an embarrassing list on their hands: just 16 year old Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Everyone’s turned them down. If they get the Beach Boys, it will be very publicly without Brian Wilson or even guest star John Stamos. The very disliked Mike Love might do it– might.

There’s been no word yet on right wingers Kid Rock or Ted Nugent.

The artists who decline are not doing it because “liberals are telling them to.” That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read on right wing alt-right press. They’re declining because they don’t want to endorse a presidency that bodes disaster, as well as civil unrest. There is no upside to performing at this inauguration.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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