After making waves yesterday, Jennifer Holliday is speaking out about choosing to back away from Donald Trump!
As you’ll remember on Saturday, the Broadway star and Dreamgirls alum announced that she was not going to perform at The Donald’s inauguration this week, despite earlier accepting an invitation!
That sent shockwaves through the entertainment community, at least as it relates to the inauguration, and now Holliday is speaking out to explain her decision, and what she went through with the entire process.
Speaking with THR, Holliday reveals her reasoning in the first place for accepting the invitation late last week:
“My initial thinking is that I have sung for Presidents in the past and it was presented to me as a welcome concert for the people. That’s what I focused on, the ‘for the people’ part. I’m thinking, ‘This will be great, I’ll have an opportunity to represent and have my voice be healing and unifying out on the Mall at the Lincoln Memorial.’ So that’s really what I was thinking and, regretfully, I did not take into account what that symbolized to other people. I was really thinking that it was going to be for America and participating in history and especially because it was going to be the day before the inauguration and I’m thinking it’s just a concert of music out on the Mall.”
Can’t really blame her for that — there is a component to an inauguration performance that is just so… big, and important, and country-connecting.
Of course, this is The Donald’s inauguration, and so it’s extremely, extremely different…
Holliday then revealed exactly the moment when she knew she had to withdraw from the inauguration, saying:
“I thought about it and about 3:00 am [on Saturday], after someone sent me an email of an article from The Daily Beast from the gay community. I read that and it really struck home with me. The gay community has been so faithful and good to me. We share a bond because I really feel that there’d be no Jennifer Holliday or even a Dreamgirls lasting and being still relevant in this 21st century, some 35 years later, if it had not been for the gay community. Also, in the early ├óΓé¼╦£80s was the start of the HIV epidemic, at that time it had no name. But I was right in the middle of that with the gay community.
That [letter], because of the way they structured it, and to give me insight on what was really going on with them and their fears and their concerns about what their fate will be now, that got me right at the heart. Because I don’t want my name to be associated with heartbreak or sadness thinking that I’m in support of something, when I’m just thinking that I was just singing a song. I had no reason to try to say ‘OK, well, I’m making a point’ by singing. I just thought I was singing to have my voice lend hope and healing and love and that sort of thing.”
Good for her for actually listening to her fans, and the larger LGBT community, and trying as best she can to understand their concerns!! It may not sound like much, but that’s very hard for a lot of people to do — especially celebs!
And in all, what an interesting interview!
You should read the full thing at the Hollywood Reporter right HERE.
[Image via C.Smith/WENN.]