Update: Rockettes Union Calls Boycotting Inauguration 'Invalid'

By: Dec. 23, 2016
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BroadwayWorld has obtained and confirmed the authenticity of an email sent from the American Guild of Variety Artists to what appears to be Rockettes in its membership as a response to the announcement that some Rockettes do not want to participate in the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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, 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."

"We have been made aware of what is going on Facebook and other social media, however, this does not change anything unless Radio City has a change of heart. The ranting of the public is just that, ranting. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but this does not change your employment status for those who are full time."

"This has nothing to do with anyone's political leanings (including AGVA's), it has to do with your best performance for your employer, period. I will reiterate that if Hillary Clinton was the President-elect, nothing would be different, and there would probably be those who would not want to be involved because of her. It is a job, and all of you should consider it an honor, no matter who is being sworn in. The election is over and this country will not survive if it remains divided."

"Everyone is entitled to her own political beliefs, but there is no room for this in the workplace."

The email continues in bolded, underlined font: "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. 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,"

The email was written and sent by a high-ranking member of the union's administration. This appears to corroborate earlier reports that the union had expressed that members who are full-time employees of MSG are required to perform at the inauguration.

BroadwayWorld has not been able to verify any of the other rumors surrounding this, and the email from AGVA does not mention any consequences for members who do not perform at the inauguration.

Many on social media have expressed concern that Rockettes who refuse to perform may be at risk of losing their job and might not find other full-time employment in dance. In 2015 just 1.4% of people who identified their professions as "dancers" in New York were employed full time according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Full-time positions such as these are hard to come by.

Many dancers on social media expressed that those who at one time would "refuse to work" often had a hard time gaining future employment.

BroadwayWorld has reached out to both AGVA and MSG for comment and will continue to follow this story.

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