Last week, the Wrap reported that the President-elect was “very unhappy” that A-list celebrities were turning down invitations for his inauguration. Trump apparently tapped Celebrity Apprentice producer Mark Burnett to wrangle some famous names and Trump’s team seemed hopeful that the situation would improve. And Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the Presidential inaugural Committee, emailed The Wrap that “first class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events.” But these efforts have proven of limited success, with the only confirmed acts being the Radio City Rockettes (not all of whom are eager to perform), “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (which is facing a backlash over the decision to perform).
Displaying wounded pride, Trump tweeted, “The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” Echoing Trump, Epshteyn told CNN that the inauguration planning team doesn’t mind the dearth of stars. “You know, this is not Woodstock,” Epshteyn said. “It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert. It’s not about celebrities. As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people. That’s what we’re concentrated on.” Epshteyn also added that “The Rockettes represent the American people.”
All of this sounds suspiciously like a post-facto justification, comparable to a much rejected man saying “the reason I’m not dating Scarlett Johansson is because I don’t want to.”