WASHINGTON (CBSLA.com) — The White House announced Saturday morning that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will skip this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.
The announcement said the Trumps will pass on the ceremony to allow the honorees to celebrate without political “distractions.”
CBS has aired the Kennedy Center Honors every year since the awards were established in 1977.
This will be only the fourth time in 40 years a First Couple will miss the ceremony.
The announcement capped off a hectic week for the president — he fired chief strategist Steve Bannon, business leaders on the Strategic and Policy Forum all quit, and on Friday all 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities handed in their resignations.
Comments the president made following a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia — that resulted in the death of at least one counter-protester — were hailed by former KKK leader David Duke and lambasted by democrats, members of the president’s own party, business and spiritual leaders including the Pope.
The president offering to skip the star-studded ceremony follows a threatened boycott of some of this year’s recipients, most notably legendary TV producer Norman Lear. Two days ago, legendary dancer Carmen de Lavallade said she wasn’t coming. Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan also said they were considering being no-shows.
This year, the president skipped throwing out the first ball for baseball season and the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast Tuesday, December 26 (9-11 p.m.) on CBS.