UPDATE, 12:04 p.m. ET: In response to Phoebe Pearl‘s Instagram post expressing her displeasure in performing for President-elect Donald Trump at his upcoming inauguration, MSG Entertainment — the company that owns the Rockettes — issued a statement to Us Weekly on Friday, December 23, insisting that the majority of dancers are thrilled to participate.
“The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural,” read the statement. “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.”
Original story below:
Not with him. Phoebe Pearl, a Radio City Rockette, took to Instagram on Thursday, December 22, to say she is “embarrassed and disappointed” to perform for Donald Trump after the famed dance troupe confirmed its participation in the president-elect’s upcoming inauguration.
The New York City–based dancer, 27, shared a photo of herself on stage dancing with the Rockettes and digitally drew a white thought bubble next to her face that read, “Not my president.” The post was accompanied by a lengthy caption, detailing why Pearl isn’t pleased about being a part of the ex–Celebrity Apprentice host’s inaugural festivities on Friday, January 20.
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” she began in the since-deleted post. “Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed.”
Pearl went on to explain that she is particularly upset about entertaining Trump, given the offensive remarks he has made about women in the past. As previously reported back in October, the reality star turned politician engaged in misogynistic banter with Billy Bush in a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape. In the video, he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals without permission. In the wake of the video’s release, a multitude of women came forward, accusing Trump of sexual assault.
“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,” Pearl 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.”
Earlier on Thursday, MSG Entertainment — the company that owns the Rockettes — released a statement, saying that it was “honored” to be performing for the future POTUS. BroadwayWorld.com reports that the dancers were sent an email by their union, telling the ladies that they were not allowed to “boycott” the gig.
“Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace,” the email allegedly read. “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.”
A-list talents such as Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Garth Brooks and Elton John have reportedly passed on invitations to perform at Trump’s inauguration. So far, the only three acts booked for the event are the Rockettes, America’s Got Talent alum Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that he doesn’t care about having A-listers at his inauguration. “The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING,” he wrote. “I want the PEOPLE!”