Kennedy Center Is “Grateful” Trump Won’t Attend Annual Honors

Trump degrades any event he attends
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Donald Trump announced that he and his wife Melania won’t be attending The Kennedy Center Honors – which will be held on December 3 – because they want to allow the “artists to celebrate without any political distraction.” Two of the five honorees – television producer Norman Lear and dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade – had already indicated that they would refuse a White House reception with Trump.

The Kennedy Center chairman and president issued the shadiest statement in response.

“In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities,” reads the statement, “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.”

I know the Kennedy Center was trying to keep it classy and frame Trump’s months-early snub as a decision they could respond to graciously. But this is pretty much a sly acknowledgement that Trump degrades any tradition he takes part in, from the Boy Scout Jamboree to space explorationNot attending is the only way he can “signal…respect” for any event, because his very presence is an insult to the dignity, decency, and honor of an organization.

Plus, the Kennedy Center is entirely right. Trump’s absence will ensure a better night for everyone involved. The honorees – dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, TV producer Norman Lear, rapper LL Cool J, singer Gloria Estefan, and singer Lionel Richie – did not deserve to have their shining night tarnished by a photo op with some misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic white supremacist sympathizer. Now they can celebrate their accomplishments without enduring a man who, given the ethnic makeup of this group, probably hates them.

Trump is no friend to the arts, having proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and driven his entire Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities to resign with a badass letter. Skipping the Kennedy Center Honors is only his latest – and, surely, not his last – conflict with the arts community.

(Via NPR; image via Shutterstock)

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