Saturday, April 20, 2024

Trump’s Disdain of the Arts: He and Melania Won’t Be Part of the Kennedy Center Honors– a First


Donald and Melania Trump have pulled out of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Three of the five recipients had already said they would not go to the White House for the traditional Saturday night gala at which the president bestows the awards.

Now the Trumps, rather than try to fix things or reach out to the people in the arts and culture who make America great, have pulled out of the ceremony entirely. There is no explanation other than they want to “remove political distraction.”

This is a telling moment for what’s to come with Trump as far as dinners and awards go. There have no been state dinners yet. Celebrities typically are invited. And then there are things like the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Would anyone accept at this point?

So this is a first. It’s rare– if ever– that a president and first lady haven’t sat in the presidential box since the Kennedy Center honors began 40 years ago. It’s unclear now who will sit in the box– Mike Pence? — or whether it will be removed entirely.

This is one of the many failings of Donald Trump. Knowing that he’s offended the arts world– all the members of his arts commission resigned this week– he has no interest in trying to figure out why, or to meet anyone in that community halfway. Melania is probably fuming– no red carpets, no celeb, no gowns. It’s just back to Mar-a-Lago, where this week seven — 7– major charities have cancelled their galas.

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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