A petition calling on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to withdraw from its scheduled Jan. 20 performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration has reached its goal in 24 hours.
“We, as signers of this petition, believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ decision to allow the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at the upcoming presidential inauguration of Donald Trump DOES NOT reflect the values of Mormonism and does not represent its diverse 15+ million members worldwide,” read the petition.
“We also believe that an official LDS organization performing at a presidential inauguration gives the perception that the LDS Church and its diverse 15+ million members worldwide support an incoming president’s agenda, values and behaviors. Performing at other government events would not be a concern (e.g. national holidays such as July 4th),” it continued.
More than 1,100 people signed the petition in the first three hours, with 7,500 signatories crossing that threshold a day after its launch before organizers bumped their target to 10,000.
On Thursday, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced they would perform at the inauguration.
“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U.S. presidents,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir president Ron Jarrett said. “Singing the music of America is one of the things we do best. We are honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our next president.”
This performance will mark the sixth time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung at an inauguration. These inaugural events include the official swearing-in ceremonies for George H. W. Bush (1989), Richard M. Nixon (1969), and Lyndon B. Johnson (1965). They performed in inaugural parades for George W. Bush (2001), George H. W. Bush (1989), and Ronald W. Reagan (1981).
According to Deseret News, in response to the backlash, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said, “Response to the announcement has been mixed, with people expressing both opposition and support. The choir’s participation continues its long tradition of performing for U.S. presidents of both parties at inaugurations and in other settings, and is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power.”
The announcement comes days after TheWrap reported that Trump is so displeased with his team’s inability to lock in A-list talent for his inauguration events next month that he’s ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers.
Mark Burnett, who produces “Celebrity Apprentice” with Trump and has been overseeing entertainment for inauguration festivities, has brought in talent recruiter Suzanne Bender, a former “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol” booker, to end an effective freeze-out by Hollywood, an insider said.
The Trump transition has been struggling for weeks to secure A-list talent for the inauguration celebration. The only person confirmed to perform at the event is Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent.” She is set to sing the national anthem before Trump takes the oath of office. The Radio City Rockettes were added to the lineup on Thursday.
Performers who are known to have rejected requests include Elton John, country singer Garth Brooks and opera star Andrea Bocelli.
See tweets from people not happy with the announcement below.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir to honor a racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, self-confessed sexual predator, conman at the inauguration. https://t.co/WKgErnODg0
— A Once Great Nation (@USARedOrchestra) December 23, 2016
So, God ordered the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing while Satan makes the #Rockettes dance. All bases covered for the King of Hell's party.
— Terra Firma (@SDzzz) December 23, 2016
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is Performing at Donald Trumps Inauguration?
I hope their special number is titled "Grabbest Thine Pussy".
— Thomas Anderson (@MormonMetal) December 22, 2016
Mormon Tabernacle Choir is going to perform for Trump's inauguration b/c all of the non-religious choices were like "Nah, we have morals."
— Marybeth Glenn (@MBGlenn) December 22, 2016
Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing the inauguration? Repulsive.
— By Common Consent (@ByCommonConsent) December 22, 2016
I actually think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are very good. I have their 'Songs of the Civil War' CD, Excellent https://t.co/HxyxDDroJe
— Purfleet John (@Purfleetjohn) December 23, 2016
@realDonaldTrump the Mormon tabernacle choir and the rockettes what is it an inauguration or a Christmas special what a joke!!!
— Carren Martin (@carrendaisy) December 23, 2016
For a religion purportedly working to show it isn't racist, having the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing at Trump's inauguration is a big misstep
— IttoUsagi (@IttoUsagi) December 23, 2016
— Layladylayladyday (@breakingfreenyc) December 23, 2016