Musicians Choose Not to Perform at Trump’s Inauguration

Images compiled by Abby Lass

By Gil Alon

Arts Reporter

In another bizarre twist for President Elect Donald Trump, many musicians have refused to play during his inauguration, displaying the division his presidency is associated with

According to the Wrap and the BBC, Trump’s transition team is struggling to find artists that will agree to perform during the inauguration. Celebrities and singers that all lined up to play for President Obama are now boycotting the new inauguration. Musicians like John Legend, Vince Neil, and Sir Elton John are some of the A-Listers who have come out and publicly refused to perform. There are even rumors swirling that the Trump administration is so desperate, they are resorting to bribery, offering ambassadorships to the biggest names in music.

Students at Newton South have come out in defense of the artist’s’ right to choose who they perform to.

“It’s the musicians right to say that they are not going to play for someone they don’t support. It’s a free country,”  freshman Lanie Mcleod said.

More students concur with Lanie’s opinion, expressing complete support for the artist’s that are choosing to boycott.

“I just think it’s wrong to try and make someone go against what they believe in,” freshman Kimiya Ehsan said. “They shouldn’t have to perform for Trump because that goes against what they want to do and what they believe in.”

Performing for Trump shows support for his policies, which is why many artists are refusing sing. This act of refusal goes beyond the necessary sign of respect that presidents deserve. For the artists to perform, they need to go out of their way to show appreciation for Trump; a task too daunting for many to handle.

However, are the artist’s actions a protest of Trump, or simply the artists choosing to not get involved with the administration?

“I think it’s a little different than protesting because musicians are not doing anything for him but they are not doing anything against him,” freshman Zandra Baskin said. “They are staying in their own quiet zone.”

“Yes and no,” junior Sam Linder responded. “Yes in the sense it is their job to perform, but no in the sense that they are entitled in their beliefs and they can do that with any other president. It is not protesting the presidency but more protesting his ideas.”

Not performing simply declares that artists do not want to be associated with the administration, thus they are protesting in their own way. Protest does not always require decisive action against a person, but the lack of action can hurt Trump as well. The simple embarrassment of the entertainment community not accepting him displays the opinions of millions of Americans who still do not support Trump’s fundamental beliefs.

Though these tactics are different from the protests on the streets, however, because these artists are not rejecting the outcome of the election but are simply choosing to not celebrate it. The inauguration signifies a celebration and joy for the new leader and if many artists feel different, they should not attend.

Various musicians such as Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and Kanye West have sparked outrage when they have performed for dictators in the past, but these artists have the right to choose who they choose perform for. Their performance creates an association between that artist and their “employer”, in this case Donald Trump. Many artists fear or do not want this association.

Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate,” Legend told the BBC. “We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that’s preaching division and hate and bigotry, it’s unlikely he’ll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him.”