If there were ever a President that prided himself as being a celebrity, it is Donald Trump. He has made himself known by starring in the Celebrity Apprentice and telling other celebrities they are fired. The show, like so many things involving Donald Trump, was cancelled just this month. Trump’s no longer a celebrity and may soon lose his job as President.
Donald Trump has destroyed respect for the office of the President of the United States. Along with the path of destruction Trump has left behind, the Kennedy Center Honors can be added to the devastation. On December 3, 2017, the Kennedy Center will hold its 40th annual national celebration of the arts – The Kennedy Center Honors. The 2017 recipients are American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban American singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, American hip hop artist and entertainment icon LL COOL J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie.
“The Kennedy Center Honors spotlights the extraordinary careers of five artists whose talent and ingenuity have enriched and shaped cultural life in America,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
On August 19, 2017, the White House announced that the President of the United States and the First Lady will not participate in 2017 Kennedy Center Honors activities. In response, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter said:
“The Kennedy Center respects the decision made today by the office of the President of the United States. 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. We are grateful for this gesture.”
The irony is that the Kennedy Center Chairman is “grateful” that Trump isn’t coming this year. No president in the last 40 years has failed to participate. Considering the amazing talent that has been honored through the Kennedy Center Honors, it is obvious why Donald Trump would not participate when people being honored refused to attend the Presidential reception.
These are the 2014 honorees:
Carmen de Lavallade said on Thursday that she would be honored to attend the Dec. 3 ceremony at the Kennedy Center, but she explained that:
“In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our current leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House.”
Norman Lear is also skipping the reception at the White House, and Lionel Richie isn’t sure if he’ll attend the reception. Some speculate that he may only attend if he is invited to feature his song “Sail On”.