Norman Lear plans to boycott Kennedy Center Honors reception hosted by Trump

Rebecca Barbier
Agosto 6, 2017

Lear was selected alongside rapper LL Cool J, singer Gloria Estefan, singer and producer Lionel Richie, and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade as a Kennedy Center Honoreee for their lifetime achievements in the arts, an award given out each year by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

As is the tradition, the President and First Lady will have dinner with the honourees and a White House reception followed by a range of performances in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Lear may run into the president at the actual awards ceremony, but even then he said he'll be too much in the moment to consider what he'll say to Trump.

The New York Times reports that Lear will boycott the December reception at the White House in protest against the president, whom Lear considers a fool.

Lear cited the president's proposed cuts to the National Endowment of the Arts as one reason why he may miss the event.

But despite his opposition to Trump, Lear says he will accept the award.

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Lear, a candid critic of Trump, called the 45th "a thorough fool", in the The Daily Beast, has always been socially and politically outspoken.

Update (Aug. 4, 1:45 p.m.): Representatives for Norman Lear have issued the following clarification: "Mr. Lear is thrilled to receive a Kennedy Center Honor this year".

Executive producer and creator Norman Lear seen at "The Power of TV: A Conversation with Norman Lear and Netflix original series "One Day at a Time" " ATAS Panel at the Wolf Theater at Saban Media Center on Monday, June 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. "And the arts and humanities could not be more important than now, when we are so badly splintered". "He is [the right's] f- you to all the clowns and the establishment generally because [they believe] the leadership of the country is at an all-time low".

But he admitted he has an open mind - if the President would open his own - saying that if Trump's stance on the arts shifted "maybe that will cause me to change my mind". CBS will broadcast the event on December 26. "But I don't think it's going to take him all the way, and I think they'll retract that finger".

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