Kennedy Center awards to go on without Trump

Ruben Ruiz
August 19, 2017

In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 2017 Honorees will be saluted by today's leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world through performances and tributes.

Three of the five honorees, Lionel Richie, Norman Lear, and Carmen de Lavallade, already announced they would not attend the White House reception that goes along with the award ceremony.

But after some of the honorees for the December 3 ceremony said they would not attend a White House reception the night before, the Trump administration removed itself from the honors to avoid being a distraction.

The statement comes on the heels of two of this year's honorees announcing they would boycott the Kennedy Center Honors reception held at the White House. On Monday, the president specifically called out "the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" in unscheduled remarks at the White House, though some criticized Trump's comments as too little, too late.

Gloria Estefan said she would be attending the White House reception, specifically so she could talk with Trump about his stance on immigration.

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However, Trump isn't the only sitting president who has missed the Kennedy Center honors - President Jimmy Carter missed the event in 1979, President George H.W. Bush skipped it in 1989 and President Bill Clinton missed the event in 1994.

At a press conference Tuesday, Trump doubled-down on his view that "both sides" were responsible for clash, which led to the death of one counter-protester.

The members - some Obama appointees - said in a statement, "Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions", they wrote in a letter to Trump. We must be better than this.

"In choosing not to participate in this year's Honors activities, the Administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the Honorees".

Other reports by GizPress

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