It is not exactly as if Donald Trump had a star-studded inauguration planned full of the A-list stars he loves to disparage. In fact, it’s a rather motley crew he has gathered, including 3 Doors Down, Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood among the few recognizable names, to celebrate an event few others are planning to celebrate.
Now, Jennifer Holliday, a former American Idol performer and Broadway Dreamgirls star, has told Trump she is not going to perform after all and will stand by the LGBT community instead.
She says she was motivated by a story in The Daily Beast titled, “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans.”
“I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgment for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans,” she wrote in an open letter provided to The Wrap:
“I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country. Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”
This created great joy among Trump detractors, George Takei tweeting,
Jennifer Holliday, re cancelling on Trump's inauguration: "And I am telling you…NO."
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 14, 2017
Holliday had originally explained to The New York Times that,
“I’m singing on the mall for the people. I don’t have a dog in this fight — I’m just a singer, and it’s a welcome concert for the people on the mall. I voted for Mrs. Clinton, and they knew that. If someone wants me to sing a national anthem or something, we think about America, and we go.”
Read more: http://power1051.iheart.com/articles/trending-104655/update-jennifer-holliday-will-perform-at-15468721/#ixzz4VlpA5bPf
No doubt this will motivate people like Zoe Saldana who are leaping to the defense of supposed strongman Donald Trump, claiming the president-elect was “bullied by Hollywood.”
As just one example, Laura Ingraham, a great supporter of totalitarianism as evidenced by her support for Donald Trump, tweeted,
Well, that was short-lived. The totalitarians on the Left intimidate Jennifer Holliday from performing at @realDonaldTrump inaugural.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 14, 2017
It is remarkable that the man who campaigned on his personal strength, disparaging his opponents as weak, should need such pats on the back, but there it is.
Below is Holliday’s letter in full:
TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY:
Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a “bi-partisan songbird” having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the “Welcome Concert For The People”– in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase “For The People”… I thought, For America!
I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgment, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.
Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you… You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.
Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.
Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.
With LOVE & Appreciation,
“The Original DreamGirl”
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Jennifer Holliday as an American Idol contestant. She was not. She performed in 2012 with runner-up Jessica Sanchez.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.