Individual Radio City Rockettes may opt out of the group’s performance during Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration celebration, management has stated, if they do not wish to appear supportive of the president-elect.
Behind the scenes, however, manager James Dolan’s attitude toward the highly politicized event is more flippant, according to a report from Marie Claire.
Citing a transcript from a private meeting with the dance company, the publication reports that Dolan, who serves as Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Cablevision CEO, encouraged the Rockettes to “tolerate” Trump supporters, some of whom belong to the sexist and white nationalist alt-right movement ― seemingly no matter what.
“I mean, it just sounds like you’re asking us to be tolerant of intolerance,” one dancer reportedly said in the meeting. Other dancers previously expressed concern over backlash and social media abuse the company has received since their performance announcement.
“Yeah, in a way, I guess we are doing that,” Dolan replied. “What other choices do we have? What else would you suggest?”
Dolan reportedly focused on the idea of “tolerance” during the meeting, which took place Dec. 27, with the largely white group of dancers. He compared some Trump supporters’ hateful messages with those of dissenters writing in protest of the company’s decision to perform, labeling it all “ironic.”
Dolan defended the decision in part by stating that he did not think it would hurt the brand, according to the transcript.
“I would simply say, we’re celebrating a new president, not necessarily this president,” he said.
The Marie Claire piece comes on the heels of continued reports that the Trump team is having trouble finding performers for his Jan. 20 Inauguration Day. British “X Factor” singer Rebecca Ferguson recently stated she will not agree to perform unless she can sing the anti-racism ballad “Strange Fruit.”
So far, the Rockettes will be joined by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and “America’s Got Talent” singer Jackie Evancho.