Jennifer Holliday Wishes Inaugural Detractors Had Sent Explanations, Not Death Threats: ‘I Didn’t Realize That People Weren’t Really Over the Election’

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Three days after deciding to back out of a pre-inaugural concert scheduled for this Thursday, Jennifer Holliday’s visit to The View offered an interesting perspective on several sharp societal divides. Those specific divisions would be between citizens who are tapped into the nation’s ongoing political discussion and those who aren’t, and the people who think sending death threats is an effective, morally defensible act and those who don’t. “I thought we had instructions from the Obamas and the Clintons that it was a go-ahead,” Holliday said of attending the inauguration. “We were going to do a ceasefire for one day.” After it was announced that she would be performing for the president-elect, the Tony-winning Broadway actress began receiving an onslaught of death threats on social media, none of which actually offered her any insight as to why she might not want to perform for the incoming POTUS. Holliday says it wasn’t until a Daily Beast article explicated why those in the LGBTQ community, a group that the singer credits with the success of her career, might find her decision to perform so devastating that she understood her responsibility to bow out. “I probably would have done the same thing if anyone had painted the issues to me, but everyone was just hurling insults at me,” Holliday says of dealing with the backlash. “I don’t know what the identifiable pain was. But the gay community through The Daily Beast was able to say, ‘Look, it’s not just, ‘We want to be married.’ There are other things going on you are not aware of.’ I was like, ‘Okay, thank you. I’m going to pull out.’” 

Jennifer Holliday on Canceling Her Inaugural Set