Although previously announced as a performer at the inauguration of Donald Trump, Jennifer Holliday has now pulled out, saying her decision to accept the invitation was a “lapse in judgment.”
The singer said she was sorry for being “uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartache to my fans.” She shared those comments in an open letter provided to The Wrap.
After Holliday was announced as a singer for some of next week’s inauguration festivities — along with Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down — she was the victim of heavy criticism from fans.
“So disappointed in you,” one fan tweeted. Another identified her and other inauguration performers as “Trump enabling celebs” and said they were “heartbroken” at Holliday’s intention to perform. Another tweeted, “Jennifer Holliday can kiss her Gay Pride gigs this year goodbye.”
Holliday explained in her letter that her decision to back out of her performance came primarily from reading an article published on The Daily Beast entitled, “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay 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,” Holliday said in her letter to disappointed gay fans.
The singer had previously told The New York Times she was “startled and disheartened” by the extreme reactions some fans had to the Friday announcement she would perform for the president at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” the day before the Jan. 20 inauguration.
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Here is what’s clear, above all: As open and accepting as the Left likes to pretend to be, liberals are showing their true colors when it comes to this inauguration.
The bullying of artists must end. Holliday is not the first to deal with backlash from her decision to perform at inaugural festivities. Singer Jackie Evancho revealed to People that after the announcement came out that she would perform, her family — including her transgender sister — were subject to harassment.
Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli was also rumored to have backed out of performing due to bullying from fans and the threat of a potential boycott.
American artists should have complete and total freedom of expression. They should be able to share their talents with a variety of audiences and not be bullied about when and where they share them. Performing at an inaugural event is an honor. It is a place for artists to help unify a divided America into a better future. A performance is also not a political endorsement — that’s another perhaps intentional confusion that’s been put forward.
Imagine if performers for an Obama inauguration were treated in such fashion as these individuals have been?