The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts went ahead with its annual honors ceremony by presenting awards to a number of popular artists. Notably missing from the event: President Donald Trump.
The Kennedy Center Honors gala performance is typically preceded by a reception hosted by the president at the White House.
Trump canceled the reception and skipped the gala performance to avoid creating a distraction from the events.
A Statement from Chairman David M. Rubenstein & President Deborah F. Rutter Regarding the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors pic.twitter.com/YdkyryF3s7
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) August 19, 2017
Trump’s announcement came after some of the honorees vowed to skip the meeting with the president.
Dancer Carmen de Lavallade told the Washington Post she wouldn’t attend the White House reception. And TV producer Norman Lear also vowed to boycott the meeting with Trump.
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I could never turn my back on the @kencen. It represents the Arts and Humanities which mean everything to me. Of course, I’m accepting…
— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) August 4, 2017
…the honors. What I’m not accepting is the @WhiteHouse reception with @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/yCxS3RxIr7
— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) August 4, 2017
The event went ahead without the president.
In addition to Lear and Lavallade, the honorees included rapper-actor LL Cool J, singer Gloria Estefan, and recording artist Lionel Richie.
The group of honorees met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for a State Department dinner before the gala performance.
Lavallade impressed the crowd with a flowing purple dress.
LL Cool J indulged in his tendency for the bombastic.
Also at the event was revered Hollywood actress, Julie Andrews.
The original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, made an appearance.
As did music producer, Quincy Jones.
One unexpected attendee was Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., who arrived accompanied by his wife, Kelley.
Despite the pomp and the big names, many Americans were uninterested after seeing the honorees’ opposition to President Trump.
And who cares? More bloated egos praising each other. Enjoy it while it lasts.
— Squirmwood (@squirmwood) December 4, 2017
Many won’t be watching including me. For 8 years we had to watch the Obama’s at these events but the little whiners can’t stand to have a real President reside over their award ceremony? So why should we care?
— Indy (@frogger_64) December 4, 2017
Ever think that the President might have had something more important to be doing? LOL
— Cricket Be (@CricketBe1) December 4, 2017
Honors to whom? For what? Being famous? Surviving a bus crash? Rhyming, singing, showing up? No body cares anymore. Check the ratings. Celebrity Idol worship is losing it’s cool factor.
— Lightningdoe (@WNancijo) December 4, 2017
Sadly, a wise decision. All those Liberal idiots would rather make a scene against Trump that honor those who are supposed to be there to be honored.
— Eddie M. (@TheOldPoet) December 4, 2017
I’m soooo glad he skipped it. This is one of my favorites for eons and I would have skipped it if he had attended.
— Kathy Buckley (@kathyb5783) December 3, 2017
Kennedy honorees no longer matter to me. Used to. All seem tarnished now. Hope they have a splendid time in their echo chamber.
— Sartoris (@sartoris1960) December 4, 2017
Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL COOL J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie receive the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Looks like it’ll just be a Trump-trashing Demfest anyway. I sure won’t watch it.
— Lynda Atchison ? (@LyndaAtchison) December 4, 2017
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Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton missed Kennedy Center Honors during their presidencies, but in those cases their first ladies attended.
The ceremony will be broadcast December 26 on CBS.
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