The Rockettes Will Not, In Fact, Be Forced To Perform At Inauguration

"Any talking of boycotting this evening is invalid, I'm afraid," a high-ranking official at the American Guild of Variety Artists wrote in an email.

UPDATE: The New York Times published a quote from a statement by Mikyl Cordova, spokeswoman for the Madison Square Garden Company, which manages the Rockettes.

"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," she said. "It is always their choice."

Additionally, Cordova said that many of the Rockettes expressed interest in dancing at the event.

"In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available," she said. "We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations."

This information contradicts a statement by the American Guild of Variety Artists, which specified that the Rockettes must represent their company at the inauguration. 

After repeated trouble finding artists to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, it was announced on Dec. 23 that the Rockettes will be putting on a show during the ceremony, the Daily Dot reports.

However, many will be performing against their will.

Artist Amanda Duarte wrote about the ordeal on Facebook:

Her post reads, 

"Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration. AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the full time Rockettes that they must accept the inauguration gig or they will lose their jobs. It's perfect, actually. What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?"

The union Duarte was referring to, the American Guild of Variety Artists, is allegedly threatening to fire the Rockettes if they don't perform at the event.

An email from a representative at AGVA outlines the obligation in harsh terms. 

The email reads,

"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, [MSG Sports & Entertainment, LLC owner] 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." 

Twitter users are understandably outraged, and they are encouraging others to personally call members of the AVGA in protest of the contract.

Bottom line: It's not fair. No woman should have to bow down (kick up?) to Trump, who, among his many grievances, was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, Kevin Poh

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