Jennifer Holliday is backing out
of performing at Trump’s inauguration celebration after receiving backlash from her fans.
Holliday, best known for her Tony-winning role in Broadway’s “Dreamgirls,” faced pressure from her gay, lesbian and black fans when it was announced she would sing at a Thursday concert at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Holliday defended her decision to perform at the inauguration, saying she did not realize that her participation would be interpreted as a statement of support for President-elect Donald Trump..
“I didn’t see it as singing for Trump; I saw it as singing for the people on the mall,” Holliday told the AP.
The performer, who most recently starred on Broadway in “The Color Purple,” said she was hurt by the angry backlash, which included calls to boycott her music. Others called her “Uncle Tom” and there was even a suggestion that she take her own life.
“It just really made my heart drop to my feet,” Holliday said. “How could I have this much hate spewing at me, and I haven’t even done anything? I guess it’s not like those old days when political views were your own and you had freedom of speech… We live in a different time now, and a decision to go and do something for America is not so clear-cut anymore.”