The White House has already been facing quite a few boycotts by different honorees. And now, it announced that President Trump and first lady will not be participating in this year’s annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony. This is being done in order to avoid any political distraction for the recipients of the prestigious award.
This arts and humanities award, which go back as long as 40 years, and is presented every December at a ceremony at the Kennedy Center, rewards honorees for their lifelong contribution to arts and the positive change they have brought about.
Previous presidents and first ladies have always hosted a formal reception for the honorees at the White House before the awards ceremony and have also been part of the televised event along with them.
This year’s ceremony will be held Dec. 3 and will be broadcasted on Dec. 26.
According to a statement by the White House press office, this year the President and First Lady have decided to stay out of the event because they didn’t want the honorees to have any political distraction. The statement further extended the Trump’s sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all the recipients.
What is important to note here is that TV writer and producer Norman Lear and dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, two honorees for this year, had already announced their plans to boycott the reception by the White House that usually happens the night before the awards ceremony.
Lear said in an interview that his plans to boycott the White House reception was to protest against policies, like the administration’s budget proposal that will lead to the removal of the National Endowment for the Arts and its sister agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities.