Last week, it was announced that the Rockettes would be performing at Donald Trump's inauguration, with the group's union—the American Guild of Variety Artists—mandating the dancers show up to the gig or lose their jobs. After considerable public outcry, Rockettes' management claimed they would not be required to smile and dance at America's gateway to Gozer after all—but in an interview with Marie Claire, one Rockette says she and her fellow dancers are still terrified that there will be more fallout.
The Rockette, who wished to remain anonymous, told Marie Claire that though many of the women who declined to dance for Trump are freelancers, three full time dancers have declined to sign up for the inauguration performance, and at least one is concerned she might not be able to keep her position. "It will be interesting to see who doesn't get their job back," she told the magazine. "But do you really want to work for a company that supports this? I just don't know. It's become a moral issue at this point."
She also said the Rockettes are split over the performance. "There is a divide in the company now, which saddens me most," she said. "The majority of us said no immediately. 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." She also noted that no women of color signed up to dance. "It's almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups," she said. "They're going to be branded in history as one of those women," she said. "How's it going to look?"
She told Marie Claire that news of the Rockettes was sprung on them (she found out via text messages from friends), and that one dancer broke down in tears in front of her. "She felt she was being forced to perform for this monster," she said. She noted that not wanting to perform for Trump was "not a Republican or Democrat issue—this is a women's rights issue," and about "racism and sexism."
"It's the ensemble. It's the people in our wardrobe and hair department, some of whom are transgender," she says. "These are our friends and our family, who we've worked with for years. It's a basic human-rights issue. We have immigrants in the show. I feel like dancing for Trump would be disrespecting the men and women who work with us, the people we care about."