On Tuesday, Marie Claire reported that Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan called an impromptu meeting with The Rockettes to clarify his position about the group's upcoming performance at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. Dolan, part of the group's management team, reportedly defended the decision to have the group perform at the D.C. event.
"We are an American brand, and I think it's very appropriate that the Rockettes dance in the inaugural and 4th of July and our country's great historical moments," Dolan reportedly told the dancers, adding that he didn't believe aligning the company with Trump would "hurt the brand."
Reports at the time the performance was announced suggested that some of the dancers were opposed to the decision and were being forced to perform by their union.
In response to questions about the online backlash and politicized nature of the performance from the dancers, Dolan reportedly invoked the idea of "tolerance" to back up his position. "I find it a little ironic — I get all of these emails, too, from people saying, 'Don't perform for this hateful person.' And then they proceed to spew out this diatribe of hate," he said. One dancer noted that it seemed as though Dolan was asking them to "be tolerant of intolerance," according to Marie Claire.
In a statement to Marie Claire, MSG chief communications officer Barry Watkins said that "while Mr. Dolan stands behind everything he said during the meeting, no one in that room believed they were speaking publicly."
Read Marie Claire's full report from the meeting here.