Last month, Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan called a meeting with the dancers on December 27 to discuss their participation in the controversial inauguration. And apparently by "discuss," he meant tell the Rockettes to STFU and dance.
An audio recording of the meeting was leaked to MarieClaire, who published excerpts. It's mostly Dolan, a 61-year-old white male, mansplaining politics to the dancers and informing them it's an "honor" to perform. He even told them to "be tolerant of intolerance."
James Dolan and Radio City Music Hall have received some backlash since the announcement, which Dolan called "ironic." "I get all of these emails, too, from people saying, 'Don't perform for this hateful person,'" he said. "And then they proceed to spew out this diatribe of hate."
This prompted a dancer to point out: "I mean, it just sounds like you're asking us to be tolerant of intolerance." And Dolan responded: "Yeah, in a way, I guess we are doing that. What other choices do we have? What else would you suggest?"
Dolan seemed to turn a blind eye to the dancers concerns, and went on instead about how the inauguration would affect the Rockettes' "brand."
"I don't believe it's going to hurt the brand," he said. "And nobody is more concerned about that than the guy sitting in this chair. I'm about to spend $50 million remounting this summer show. I'm going to spend a similar amount remounting next year's Christmas show. I gotta sell tickets. ... A good portion of people voted for this person. Hopefully they will like our brand. If one percent of one percent of them come to our show, we're going to do great."
Easy for him to say.
It also looks like this won't be the last of the Rockettes unwilling involvement with Trump. "We'll probably dance on July 4, and hopefully nobody will have problems with that," added Dolan, in what sounds a lot like a threat.
If you think you're in for a long four years, at least you're not a Rockette. And if you are, I'm sorry.