Norman Lear Among 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees, Will Boycott Traditional Reception At The White House

Norman Lear Among 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees, Will Boycott Traditional Reception At The White House

The list of honorees for the first Kennedy Center Honors of the Trump administration has been released and unsurprisingly, things have already gotten political.

The New York Times reports:

The 40th annual award recipients include the groundbreaking television writer and producer Norman Lear, the immigrant singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, and the hip-hop star, LL Cool J. They will be joined by the musician and record producer Lionel Richie as well as the dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. In keeping with tradition, President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, will host a White House reception in December for honorees before appearing alongside them at one of Washington’s red-carpet events, the Kennedy Center Honors gala.

“This is a presidency that has chosen to neglect totally the arts and humanities — deliberately defund them — and that doesn’t rest pleasantly with me,” said Mr. Lear, the creative force behind pivotal sitcoms, including “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” that created political conversation in American households. He also founded People for the American Way, a nonprofit organization advocating against right-wing extremism. Mr. Lear said he had already informed the Kennedy Center that he would forgo the White House reception, a rare move in the Honors’ 39-year history.

The other honorees all plan to attend the White House reception. Gloria Estefan says that she intends to bend Trump’s ear about the contributions immigrants have made to the United States. In 2015 Estefan and her husband were awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Obama.