The Radio City Rockettes will perform at President-elect Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, but individual dancers have the option of skipping the show, the owner of the famed New York City dance troupe says.
Madison Square Garden Company said Friday no dancers are being compelled to attend the event.
"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."
Many on social media believed attendance was mandatory, including Julissa Sabino, a performer who is part of the union, who tweeted that the issue "breaks my heart" and urged supporters to "help these ladies." Autumn Withers, a former Rockette, supported a boycott, saying "take a knee, ladies!"
Rockette Phoebe Pearl, apparently believing she was required to attend, posted on Instagram that she was disappointed to be going to the inauguration, the New York Post reports.
"I usually don't use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion," Pearl wrote, according to the newspaper.
"Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed."
The Hollywood Reporter notes Pearl's post was later deleted, but also included these words, as well:
"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. 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. We will not be forced!"
She ended her post: "#notmypresident."
According to the Reporter, the union representing the dancers had said that dancers are obligated to perform.
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