Sunday, April 14, 2024

George Lucas’s Wife, CBS Contributor Mellody Hobson, Broke Tradition At this Year’s Kennedy Center Honors


When the Kennedy Center Honors airs later this month on CBS, we’ll see a break with tradition. Usually, the honorees are seated in a box in the Kennedy Center near the President, with their families. But the honorees don’t speak or perform, and neither does anyone from their family.

But in the case of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas that practice was changed this year. I’m told that Lucas’s wife, investment guru Mellody Hobson, who’s a financial news contributor to the CBS Morning News, gaveĀ  a toast to her husband from the box. According to onlookers, the always impressive Hobson makes a moving speech about Lucas as a parent and father.

“That has never been done or allowed before,” said one observer. “It was very unusual. But of course, Mellody is known to the people at CBS.”

No other family member of inductees like Carole King, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson or conductor Seiji Ozawa were invited to speak. The rest of Lucas’s tribute portion is orchestral selections from his movies.

Among the performers for King were Aretha Franklin, James Taylor (“Up on the Roof”) and Sara Bareilles.

The show is said to be “much slicker” and very different this year with new producers after the unceremonious ouster last year of founding producer George Stevens Jr. after 37 successful years.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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