Donnie from Queens doesn’t want them anyway

I am relievedthe Rockettes don’t have to perform at Trump’s coronation inauguration if they won’t want to. Unlike some women in show business, they get to say No to Donnie from Queens.

Within hours of confirming plans to appear at the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the Radio City Rockettes were plunged into a maelstrom of social-media outrage Friday amidreports that the performers were contractually obligated to dance at the ceremony or lose their jobs.

But as the day wore on, both the Madison Square Garden Company, which manages the Rockettes, and their union, the American Guild of Variety Artists, said that any of the dancers could opt out of the Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony in Washington.

Good. It’s only fair, frankly. The guy is a professed enemy of women, who brags to other men about his freedom to grab women by the pussy and get away with it because he is a “star.” Self-respecting women naturally don’t want to be involved in celebrating his increase in stardom.

“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,” the statement read. “It is always their choice.”

The statement also said that, among the dancers, Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington has been a popular opportunity: “In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations.” Nonetheless, the company did not respond to further inquiries or make any Rockettes available for interviews.

Despite these assurances, many of the dancers may feel under pressure to perform. Much of the fear and confusion could be traced to an email sent Thursday night by the Guild to some of the dancers.

“If you are full time, you are obligated,” said that message, which was forwarded to The Times. “Doing the best performance to reflect an American institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job. I hope this pulls into focus the bottom line on this work.”

Ah, that’s quite a “union.”

The pressure to perform in the inauguration ceremonies will likely vary based on the circumstances of each individual Rockette, according to a performer who spent five years with the company.

Heather Lang, a contemporary dancer who left the Rockettes in 2009, said in a phone interview that there are about 12 full-time dancers within the current company who perform in both winter and spring shows. They are a minority of the company, which has about 80 Rockettes. All the dancers were seasonal until about a year ago.

Ms. Lang, 35, said that, for both full-time and seasonal dancers, there is fear of jeopardizing their future employment, and compromising their standing in the eyes of James L. Dolan, the executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company, and his executives, if they complain or try to bow out.

So the only people performing for Trump’s coronation are people who more or less have to.

In between commenting on Twitter about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and addressing business conflicts of interest within his family, the president-elect took time on Thursday evening to assure the nation that he did not want A-list celebrities attending his inauguration.

Sure, Donnie from Queens. We totally believe you.

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