Jennifer Holliday set the record straight as to why she's not performing at Donald Trump's inauguration during an appearance on Tuesday's episode of "The View."
The Broadway vet said reading a poignant article from The Daily Beast on behalf of her LGBT fanbase, along with death threats and online harassment in which she was called the "N-Word" all factored in to her decision.
"The gay community for 35 years has been faithfully there for me and the article in The Daily Beast, they threw my own words back to me and I'm not a liar or a hypocrite," she said. "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 we want you're not aware of. I was like, 'Ok, thank you, I will pull out.'"
Getting emotional, Holliday reiterated: "I'm not a liar or a hypocrite and I haven't done anything to be called names. I grew up in mixed middle class neighborhood in Texas and I've never been called the N-word. I was like, 'Wow, we've come to this.'"
Holliday also recounted the chain of events from beginning to end in her own words.
"I got the call on Wednesday night [to perform], then Friday morning I woke up and there was this whole thing of terrible tweets and things on my Instagram," she said. "We hadn't really finalized everything yet and my publicist said, 'People want to talk to you.' I live a pretty reclusive life and then one morning you wake up and everyone hates you. I was like, what could I have possibly done to have these things thrown at me?"
"I'm an artist and I love America. It just didn't dawn on me. I performed for four other Presidents," she said of why she considered the gig. "I didn't think anything of it."
"The lapse of judgement was that I didn't realize people weren't really over the election, things started back up again, you start remember things and the fire starts burning. People have not finished with this," she explained. "I missed all of that."
"I sent an e-mail [to Trump's people] that it had gotten out of hand, I was even receiving death threats at this point and I was receiving death threats from black people, called the N-word from black people. I read everything," she said. "They were saying, 'You should kill yourself,' all over singing a song."
The "Dreamgirls" star found herself at the ire of the Internet last Friday, when it was first announced she'd perform for Trump on the 20th. As a longtime LGBT ally, many of her fans were shocked to see her added the lineup and they were very vocal about it.
The backlash made its way to Holliday, who then cancelled the performance and released a lengthy open letter to the LGBT community via a Hollywood blog.
Here is the letter in its entirety below...
TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY:
Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a "bi-partisan songbird" having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the “Welcome Concert For The People”– in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase “For The People”… I thought, For America!
I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
I Sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.
Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you… You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.
Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.
Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.