The president-elect has reportedly been “very unhappy” about his and his team’s inability to lure A-list and Hollywood talent to his inauguration in Washington, D.C., later this month—even as he insists this fact doesn’t bug him at all.
“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting [tickets] to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING,” the incoming president tweeted late last month. “I want the PEOPLE!”
These A-list celebs—with whom Trump spent decade sucking up to in Hollywood before becoming the Republican standard bearer—aren’t snagging their tickets to Trump’s inauguration because, well, they aren’t asking for them.
Every passing week seems to bring more news of stars and singers boasting about how Trump’s team tried to convince them to lend their star power to inaugural festivities, only to be shot down. Most recently, Tony-winning gay icon Jennifer Holliday, who Trump’s team announced on Friday as booked for inauguration entertainment, quickly released a letter Saturday morning stating that she, too, was now ditching Trump, in solidarity with the LGBT community.
So, who else exactly is going to this thing, and which celebrities have Trump and his crew managed to secure for what will be The Donald’s biggest weekend—the moment he officially ascends to the ultra-exclusive boys’ club of Leader Of The Free World.
After all, past inaugurations have been able to lure big-name performers such as Bruce Springsteen—this year, the pro-Trump festivities were able get a Springsteen tribute band, only to have the tribute band cancel a mere four days before the inauguration out of “respect” for the vocally anti-Trump Springsteen.
The pool of laudable pro-Trump celebs is pretty shallow—and it’s getting to the point where even some key pro-Trump celebrities are ditching the inauguration.
“Historic and wonderful as it is, I’d rather cut my own liver out with a butter knife [than go],” conservative columnist Ann Coulter—who made the rounds in Hollywood pitching Trump’s case early last year—told The Daily Beast. “I’ll watch on TV and celebrate with Trumpsters in [New York City] (which Trump would, too, if he could).”
Other celebrity Trump fans are keeping noncommittal.
Don King, the famous boxing promoter and convicted killer, campaigned with Trump in Ohio, a state Trump won in the general-election fight against Clinton. Trump loves King so much that this past summer, Trump personally tried to get King a prime-time speaking slot at the GOP convention in Cleveland, Ohio, only to have the idea squashed by Republican officials.
At of press time, King’s assistant Dale Edwards tells The Daily Beast that King “is scheduled but not confirmed” to attend the inauguration.
Trump might not even be able to count on Fabio to celebrate the peaceful, orderly transition of power.
Fabio’s manager said “it is not on his schedule,” when reached by phone, right before sighing audibly. (The Italian-American fashion model was among the exclusive gathering to feast at The Donald’s most recent Thanksgiving dinner, according to the New York Post.)
Furthermore, Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly preparing to head to Washington, D.C., but hasn’t confirmed yet. Representatives for Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, and Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t comment. Hell, even Scott Baio won’t even say one way or the other right now.
So who in Trump’s weird, D-list-heavy constellation of famous people can Trump depend on?
The answer to that question is, apparently: Alec Baldwin’s brother and a right-wing underwear model.
Antonio Sabáto Jr.—a former model whose acting credits include General Hospital, Melrose Place, and, more recently, Celebrity Wife Swap—confirmed to The Daily Beast via Twitter DM that he would be attending the inauguration as a guest of Trump’s team. Sabáto, who was also a Trump convention speaker, has repeatedly voiced his support for throwing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in prison.
As for President Trump’s “welcome” concert the day prior to the inauguration, it is only natural that Voight would be appearing. The Academy Award winning actor was Trump’s biggest and most famous Hollywood booster and campaigned for the Republican presidential nominee: “If you’re not for Trump, then you’re not for me,” Voight told The Daily Beast in September.
Team Trump’s lackluster tap on the A-list isn’t a brand new phenomenon, however. It was a theme all throughout the presidential campaign, as it was during his years-long reign over the NBC show Celebrity Apprentice.
The Trump campaign was roundly mocked for its sad, D-list roster of celebrity mainstage-speakers (which included Baio and Sabáto) at the Republican convention over the summer, especially when compared to the 2016 Democratic National Convention’s A-list turnout.
Spoiler: The Dems’ roll-out of pro-Hillary celebs didn’t matter, and Trump won anyway. It appears that Trump’s D-list campaign and D-list convention were, in fact, surprisingly successful preludes to his D-list inauguration.