Monday, July 22, 2024

Kennedy Center Honors: Gladys Knight (Yes), George Clooney (Too Soon), Amy Grant (?), U2, But No to Denzel Washington, Alan Alda


The weirdness of the Kennedy Center continues under David Rubenstein.

He wants the show to be the Grammys, and hes getting his way.

Gladys Knight deserves the honor, U2 probably does, too. But Amy Grant? And George Clooney?

No disrespect to George Clooney, but really? There are a dozen other actors who are older and more accomplished who deserve the honor, have longer and better resumes. I appreciate Clooney’s social activism and his handful of really good performances, but it’s a decade too early I think for this accolade.

Amy Grant? She hasn’t had a hit that I know of in 30 years. But her appeal is to the Christian country audience. Rubenstein knows how to pander. He thinks he’ll get TV ratings. And maybe Vince Gill can perform in his wife’s tribute. But really: she had one number 1 hit in 1991. Ridiculous.

Back to Gladys: it’s about time. So many hits, such a great life. She is adored.

U2: Also lots of hits, plus Bono has worked tirelessly for world causes, and made a difference. Plus, for some reason, the Rolling Stones don’t want this award. And the Kennedy Center is running out of rock groups they can get away with inducting.

Tania Leon: the Cuban born composer covers classical music and POC representation. Plus a performance of her music would be thrilling if done right.

Who got snubbed, so to speak? Francis Ford Coppola, it’s the 50th anniversary of “The Godfather.” Hello? Liza Minnelli? Judy Collins? Jane Fonda? What about Alan Alda?

And then there’s whole issue of Denzel Washington, who should have been in a long time ago. He only has two Oscars and two Tony Awards.

Oh yes, speaking of Tony Awards: Broadway isn’t represented here at all. No Tommy Tune or Bernadette Peters. That’s pretty rude of CBS which hosts the Tony Awards.

And so we paddle on in the post- George Stevens Jr. era.

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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