James Dolan Rumors
There’s been an unusual amount of turmoil behind the scenes at Radio City Music Hall this Christmas season. It’s already the most grueling time of year for the Rockettes, who dance a packed schedule of shows that push their bodies to the brink. But now there’s an even bigger strain: the tension over their upcoming performance at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
The person behind that decision is Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan, who called an impromptu meeting with the Rockettes on December 27—seemingly the first meeting since the news of the inauguration booking broke the week prior—to discuss it. In an exclusive obtained by MarieClaire.com, Dolan’s statements reveal a management philosophy that fails to factor in the dancers’ own concerns, despite the fact that they are the face and body of the brand.
When asked by a woman in the room if that means the Rockettes support President-elect Trump outright, Dolan clarified “no,” but when pressed about the idea that aligning the Rockettes with such a controversial figure could tarnish the brand, Dolan didn’t budge: “I don’t believe it’s going to hurt the brand. 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.”
One dancer eventually piped up: “I mean, it just sounds like you’re asking us to be tolerant of intolerance.” Her comment was followed by uncomfortable laughter around the room and a pause. “Yeah, in a way, I guess we are doing that,” Dolan said. “What other choices do we have? What else would you suggest?”