Donald & Melania Trump decided to skip the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors so that honorees wouldn’t boycott the event. See the stars that did show up, here!
The 2017 Kennedy Center Honors could have resulted in a politically charged boycott, but thankfully the event went off without a hitch on Dec. 3. This year’s event celebrated Lionel Richie, 68, LL Cool J, 49, Gloria Estefan, 60, Norman Lear, 95, and Carmen de Lavallade, 86 — but there were a few expected attendees that were noticeably absent. Donald, 71, and Melania Trump, 47, skipped out on the awards ceremony, even though the event typically coincides with a White House reception.
The choice to pass on the prestigious event was a deliberate one, though. The White House announced in August that the President and First Lady wouldn’t attend the ceremony so that honorees could enjoy it without “political distraction.” The reception at the White House was also cancelled after some of the honorees, like Norman, said they would boycott it.
Seeing as how the Kennedy Center Honors are regarded as the top recognition in America for artists throughout a variety of fields, allowing the honorees to freely enjoy their ceremony was a respectful decision that Kennedy Center officials were “grateful” for. “In choosing not to participate in this year’s honor’s activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter and Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.
While the Trumps stayed home, the artists were able to commemorate their work without being overshadowed by political interference. Stars like Eva Longoria, 42, Nicole Richie, 36, and Julie Andrews, 82, attended the event that celebrated the art of their peers and loved ones. “Art transcends borders, cultures, politics,” Julie said. “This event gives us an opportunity to step away from divisive discourse and appreciate excellence in art that has been created for everyone.”
Click through the gallery above to see all of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors attendees and their beautiful red carpet looks!
HollywoodLifers, do you think canceling the White House reception was the right decision?