“And I am telling you…I’m not singing” is the clear message coming belatedly from Broadway legend and gay icon Jennifer Holliday (see more at NPR), as she pulled out of performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration following a big backlash from her fanbase on social media, saying her original agreement to take the gig was “a lapse of judgement”.
Criticism of her planned appearance was summed up by an article in The Daily Beast which called it “an act that seems to defy everything her most passionate supporters stand for, and even issues she herself has supported throughout her career”.
The singer and actor has issued a public letter (via The Wrap) addressed to “MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY” in which she recognises she “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.”
On a wider level, it’s a reminder that the LGBTQI community can make itself heard loud and clear via social media, and something we should be mindful of in the months ahead, although it’s going to need more than a few tweets to head off concerted attempts to undermine our rights. But for now, Jennifer Holliday’s very public apology has been widely covered, and she’s made it clear that she knows who her friends really are.
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.