Conservative Fox News host Bill O’Reilly believes that celebrities who won’t perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural celebration are threatening the American tradition of a peaceful transition between administrations.
“All Americans should respect the process,” the “O’Reilly Factor” host said during his “Talking Points” segment on Tuesday. “There should never be intimidation about attending or performing at an inauguration. That is un-American.”
He used the election of President George W. Bush as an example. While many weren’t pleased with the result, O’Reilly pointed out, Ricky Martin, Wayne Newton, Jessica Simpson, and even Beyoncé (as part of Destiny’s Child) appeared at Bush’s 2001 inaugural events.
“So even though there was bitterness over the Bush-[Al Gore] race, the nation came together for the inauguration,” O’Reilly said. “But now that cohesive spirit seems to have changed.”
Of the many artists who reportedly turned down Trump’s invitations to perform were Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perrry, Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, and Garth Brooks.
Those who are confirmed to perform at Trump’s inaugural celebration include “America’s Got Talent” singer Jackie Evancho, the Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
“The harsh truth is that there’s reverse McCarthyism going on in the entertainment industry,” O’Reilly said, referring to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt for Communists in the 1950s, which included the blacklisting of many in the entertainment industry whose politics differed from McCarthy’s.
“Today it seems anti-Trump zealots may be doing the same thing,” O’Reilly said. “If you’re a Trump supporter, then you’re a bad person. Some entertainers think their careers will be harmed by associating with the new Trump administration.”
The host ended the segment by imploring anti-Trump Americans to give the president-elect a chance and “respect the process.”
Watch the segment below:
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