[UPDATED BELOW] President-elect Trump has had a little difficulty securing musical entertainment for his inauguration next month, but at least he'll be able to make long-legged ladies dance for him against their will. The Rockettes have been slated to perform—as they did at George W. Bush's inaugurations in 2001 and 2005—and though some have dancers have considered boycotting the gig, they've essentially been told they'll lose their jobs if they back out.
Indeed, it is unsettling (and yet, fitting) that scantily-clad women have been set to perform in front of President Pussy Grabber, and even more so that they're being forced to do it, or else. One Rockette, Phoebe Pearl, took to Instagram to express how "embarrassed and disappointed" she was to be forced to be present at Democracy's Doomsday. "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," she wrote. "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 #notmypresident."
The bad news is, the Rockettes aren't subject to the whims of just one thin-skinned rich guy—they're owned by MSG Entertainment, helmed by the one-and-only James Dolan, and he wants those pretty puppets to DANCE. BroadwayWorld reports that the Rockettes' union, the American Guild of Variety Artists, sent an email to the Rockettes establishing that any boycott of the inauguration would cost the dancers their jobs:
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. 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.
We have been made aware of what is going on Facebook and other social media, however, this does not change anything unless Radio City has a change of heart. The ranting of the public is just that, ranting. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but this does not change your employment status for those who are full time.
This has nothing to do with anyone's political leanings (including AGVA's), it has to do with your best performance for your employer, period. I will reiterate that if Hillary Clinton was the President-elect, nothing would be different, and there would probably be those who would not want to be involved because of her. It is a job, and all of you should consider it an honor, no matter who is being sworn in. The election is over and this country will not survive if it remains divided.
Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace.
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.
There is at least one attempt to fight the union:
— Magan Carrigan (@MaganCarrigan) December 23, 2016
Still, dancers on social media are reportedly expressing concern that they'll have trouble finding alternate employment even if they do leave the Rockettes, and it's hard to see how a GoFundMe could substitute a career.
So. Kick your legs up for Trump, or lose your livelihood. This is the America to Come.
Update 12:07 p.m.: MSG Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter:
The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural. For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice. In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations.
But one Rockette employee who wished to remain anonymous told TheWrap, "Forcing dozens of women to go and perform for this man is without a question going to be problematic," adding that the 12 full time Rockettes would likely be required to perform at the inauguration.