Refusing to Perform, Donald Trump

Why celebs are queueing up for the Women’s March, but not the inauguration…

The list of stars attending the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, grows longer by the day. In fact, it’s almost as long as the list of celebs who have reportedly refused to perform at Trump’s inauguration celebrations.

Words by Rosie Benson

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, chances are you’ve heard about the Women’s March on Washington, taking place this Saturday 21st January (alongside international supporting marches like the Women’s March in London that team Marie Claire will be at). Thousands are expected to attend, with Katy Perry, Amy Schumer and Cher set to be just a few of the familiar faces in the crowd.

Organisers have said that the demonstration is not specifically anti-Trump, however it’s hardly a coincidence that the march is taking place on the first day of his presidency. It comes after Trump ran a hugely divisive campaign for the presidency, was recorded saying some pretty vile things about women, and spoke of his intent to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

‘We stand together in solidarity and we expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities,’ the Women’s March on Washington organisation wrote in a statement on its website.

America Ferrera and Scarlett Johansson have spoken about their intention to participate.

Ferrera stated earlier this week: ‘Since the election, so many fear that their voices will go unheard – as artists, women, and most importantly dedicated Americans, it is critical that we stand together in solidarity for the protection, dignity, and rights of our communities.’

Johansson said in a statement: ‘I am marching on Washington to let our next president know that we, men and women alike, will not stand down or be silenced and will fight to protect our bodies and our choices.’

Zendaya, Chelsea Handler, Patricia Arquette, Oliva Wilde, Julianne Moore, Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba, and Will & Grace star Debra Messing, are also reported to be getting involved in the Washington march, which has sparked more than 300 ‘sister’ marches around the world (including in London).

This is all slightly awkward for Trump, whose inauguration ceremony has hit the headlines in recent weeks for a distinct lack of starry status. The celebrities who have reportedly refused to perform for him include Elton John, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Kiss, and Charlotte Church.

That’s not forgetting the huge number of celebrities who publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton, making it pointless for Trump to approach them in the first place (as they would have almost definitely refused).  Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are just some of the stars who put their support wholeheartedly behind Clinton.

The performers that the Trump team have reportedly approached have been devastatingly swift in confirming their non attendance:

Elton John’s reps issued this curt statement: ‘Incorrect. He will not be performing.’

While Charlotte Church took to Twitter to give a slightly more descriptive response: ‘Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye’

By (almost cruel) contrast, Barack Obama’s inauguration was a far starrier affair. His 2009 ‘We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial’ was practically a constellation in its own right, featuring the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend,, Herbie Hancock, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Shakira, U2, and, of course, Beyoncé. Soul legend Aretha Franklin and Beyonce also popped by for the formal inauguration ceremony too.

So who exactly is confirmed for Trump’s inauguration celebrations?

As well as Michael Flatley (yes, that’s right – Michael Flatley), other acts that will be performing are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho, the Rockettes, Three Doors Down, Lee Greenwood, Sam Moore, Jon Voight and the Talladega College Marching Band.

So…yeah. To make matters even worse, several members of The Rockettes have publicly expressed their disappointment, saying that some feared for their jobs if they didn’t perform. (The organisation later said that those who didn’t want to perform don’t have to).

Jan Chamerblin, of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (who have performed at five US inaugurations) also posted on Facebook that she was dropping out of the group, due to their involvement. She stated: ‘I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler”. And I certainly could never sing for him.’

Does it get more awkward than that?

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