It’s an interesting question. Would you attend the Kennedy Center Honors award ceremony if you were nominated… and Trump was president presiding over it? Or would you decline the offer (and miss the biggest accolade of your career)? Or would you accept the award but then use your speech to talk shit about our president? That’s the quandary facing this year’s nominees. It’s the first ceremony of the Trump era, and this year’s group has some VERY different ideas about how they are going to handle the situation.
Gloria Estefan, a proud Cuban immigrant, plans to use her platform to speak on behalf of immigrants everywhere.
Via The New York Times:
Ms. Estefan, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, said she looked forward to speaking with Mr. Trump because it was “the perfect opportunity to make clear and express” her views. Ms. Estefan is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and her pursuit of the American dream is the subject of the Broadway musical “On Your Feet!”
“Mr. President, as a proud immigrant of this country, it’s very important for me that you see the wonderful contributions we have made,” Ms. Estefan said she planned to say at the White House reception. “We have seen a lot of anti-immigrant backlash this year, so for us, it may hold even more beauty than for someone who has lived here all their lives. To get this kind of award is so American.”
Icon of ’70s television (All In the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons) Norman Lear has decided to accept the award, but plans to skip the White House reception, “a rare move in the Honors’ 39-year history.”
“This is a presidency that has chosen to neglect totally the arts and humanities — deliberately defund them — and that doesn’t rest pleasantly with me,” said Mr. Lear, the creative force behind pivotal sitcoms that created political conversation in American households. He also founded People for the American Way, a nonprofit organization advocating against right-wing extremism.
LL Cool J is just happy he’s being recognized, and doesn’t care by who.
“To knock the door down for a new genre — the word is just ‘dope!’” he said. “To be able to come from the corner of Farmers Boulevard in Queens, banging on a garbage can, all the way to the Kennedy Center Honors, that’s a long journey.”
He said he never considered skipping the events.
“I don’t have any stunts planned. I’m not saying I need to be there backslapping and all of that, but this time, this one ain’t about him,” he said, referring to Mr. Trump. “I’m not going to block my blessings or let the political divide stop me from embracing my art. I’m banking on the goodness and the optimism of people to say: ‘You know what? I get it. Let this guy have this honor.’”
Then there’s Lionel Richie, who is golly-gosh-dang excited his buddy Trump will be the guy honoring him.
“In the world of entertainment, I’ve got to tell you, Mr. Trump has been front and center,” Mr. Richie said. “That’s just what he does. You can’t miss him! Listen, when you say, do you want to sit next to the president or not — are you kidding me? He’s the president!”
Soo.. that runs the gamut of reactions, huh?
Will you be tuning in this year?
(Top pics: Pacific Coast News)