The dance troupe's boss says he doesn't believe the performance is "going to hurt [their] brand".
Popular New York City dance company the Rockettes have seemingly been told to “tolerate intolerance” and go through with their controversial performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration.
A leaked audio recording of a meeting between members of the dance troupe and their boss, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan, has exposed growing tensions surrounding the planned performance on January 20.
Marie Claire, the publication which acquired the leaked recording, reports that Dolan told the dance troupe during the meeting: “I don’t believe it’s going to hurt the brand. And nobody is more concerned about that than the guy sitting in this chair. I’m about to spend $50 million remounting this summer show. I’m going to spend a similar amount remounting next year’s Christmas show. I gotta sell tickets.”
Dolan added later: “A good portion of people voted for this person. Hopefully they will like our brand. If 1% of 1% of them come to our show, we’re going to do great.”
When one dancer said to Dolan during the meeting, “I mean, it just sounds like you’re asking us to be tolerant of intolerance,” the chairman replied after a reportedly ‘awkward’ pause: “Yeah, in a way, I guess we are doing that,” Dolan said. “What other choices do we have? What else would you suggest?”
Trump’s apparently inability to book performers for his inauguration in Washington, D.C. on January 20 has been a hot topic in recent weeks. The President-elect has only been able to secure one music artist so far: 2010 America’s Got Talent finalist Jackie Evancho, who is set to perform the US national anthem.
Rebecca Ferguson has confirmed that she has been invited to perform at the inauguration on January 20, but said that she will only accept if she can sing Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’.
Trump will be sworn in as US President later this month during the traditional ceremony outside the US Capitol in Washington D.C.. There has been much speculation about which artist, or indeed artists, might perform at the inauguration, with KISS’ Gene Simmons recently denying that he had been invited to play.
Meanwhile, the marching band of a historically black Alabama college has been criticised for accepting an invitation to join Trump’s inaugural parade.
Current President Barack Obama invited Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin to perform during his 2009 inauguration.