Donald Trump will skip attending this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the White House has announced.
The annual event celebrates the lifetime achievements of artists who’ve contributed greatly to American culture. This year’s honorees include musicians Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, and Gloria Estefan, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and actress Carmen de Lavallade.
The event is held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with the president and first lady usually in attendance. However, after Richie, Lear, and Carmen de Lavallade all threatened to boycott the event in protest of the current administration, Trump has opted to cancel his and Melania Trump’s own attendance.
In a statement, the White House said Trump will not participate in the event “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”