Singer pulls out of gig for Trump

‘Be­trayal’ of gay, les­bian fans be­hind move

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

BROAD­WAY star Jen­nifer Hol­l­i­day said she was pulling out of a con­cert cel­e­brat­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, cit­ing an on­line ar­ti­cle that cast the per­for­mance as a “be­trayal” of her gay and les­bian fans.

The Tony Award-win­ning singer, best known for her roles in the Broad­way mu­si­cals Dream­girls and Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, an­nounced the can­cel­la­tion in a let­ter first pub­lished by The Wrap, an en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try news web­site.

“I sin­cerely apol­o­gise for my lapse of judge­ment, 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,” Hol­l­i­day said in the let­ter.

Hol­l­i­day was not sched­uled to per­form at Fri­day’s in­au­gu­ra­tion it­self but at an event at the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial the night be­fore called the “Make Amer­ica Great Again! Wel­come Cel­e­bra­tion”.

Also sched­uled to ap­pear are coun­try mu­sic star Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down and Os­car-win­ning ac­tor Jon Voight.

The Trump tran­si­tion team re­ferred ques­tions to the Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gu­ral Com­mit­tee, which did not com­ment di­rectly on Hol­l­i­day’s let­ter.

“As Amer­i­cans from across the coun­try unite to cel­e­brate the 58th Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gu­ral, we are hum­bled by the out­pour­ing of sup­port we are re­ceiv­ing.

“We are also hon­oured to have so many world-class per­form­ers tak­ing part in this his­toric cel­e­bra­tion of free­dom and democ­racy,” Boris Ep­shteyn, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gu­ral Com­mit­tee, said.

In a col­umn for the Daily Beast web­site, en­ter­tain­ment re­porter Kevin Fal­lon called Hol­l­i­day a gay icon for her work on Broad­way and said that Trump had sur­rounded him­self with politi­cians who vo­cally op­pose les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der rights.

“For the gay com­mu­nity that has bol­stered Hol­l­i­day, in her own words, em­bat­tled and dif­fi­cult ca­reer, and cheered on her re­cent suc­cesses, the news (of Hol­l­i­day’s planned per­for­mance) feels like a be­trayal. It is heart­break­ing,” Fal­lon wrote on Fri­day.

In her let­ter, Hol­l­i­day wrote that she had orig­i­nally agreed to per­form for Trump as a “bi-par­ti­san song­bird”.

She had sung for four pres­i­dents, both Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic, dat­ing back to Ron­ald Rea­gan, she said.

“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 po­larised coun­try,” Hol­l­i­day wrote.

“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,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to her ca­reer on Broad­way, Hol­l­i­day has found suc­cess on the pop charts and as a Gospel singer.

She won a Tony Award in 1982 for her role as Effie White in the orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion of Dream­girls and two Grammy Awards later that decade.

PIC­TURE: AP

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s views have caused Jen­nifer Hol­l­i­day to refuse to per­form at his in­au­gu­ra­tion.

PIC­TURE: AP

Ac­tress Jen­nifer Hol­l­i­day won’t per­form at Donal Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion.

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