Norman Lear to boycott Kennedy Center Honors reception over Trump
© Getty Images

TV legend Norman Lear will boycott the Kennedy Center Honors reception at the White House in December in protest of President Trump.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Lear, the producer behind "All in the Family" and "Sanford and Son" set to become a Kennedy Center honoree, would not attend the December reception with the president and first lady.

It represents a rare snub in the 39-year history of the traditionally nonpartisan Kennedy Center Honors.


In an interview with the Times, Lear cited Trump's proposed cuts to artistic funding as one of his reasons.

“This is a presidency that has chosen to neglect totally the arts and humanities — deliberately defund them — and that doesn’t rest pleasantly with me,” Lear said.

Lear isn't the only one of this year's honorees to use the event for political purposes. Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer Gloria Estefan will attend December's reception at the White House, according to the Times, but plans to use the event to push the president on immigration.

“Mr. President, as a proud immigrant of this country, it’s very important for me that you see the wonderful contributions we have made,” Estefan said she plans to tell Trump.

Estefan told the Times that the White House reception for the Honors was “the perfect opportunity to make clear and express” her views on America's immigration system.

On Thursday, Trump and two top GOP senators announced a plan at the White House that would deeply limit legal immigration to the United States.

Another honoree, rapper LL Cool J, said he isn't planning any "stunts" at the White House reception.

“I don’t have any stunts planned. I’m not saying I need to be there backslapping and all of that, but this time, this one ain’t about him,” he said, referring to the president. “I’m not going to block my blessings or let the political divide stop me from embracing my art. I’m banking on the goodness and the optimism of people to say: ‘You know what? I get it. Let this guy have this honor.’ ”

The two-time Grammy winner said that he was just happy to break down barriers for his genre. LL Cool J is the first hip-hop artist to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.

“To knock the door down for a new genre — the word is just ‘dope!’ ” he said. “To be able to come from the corner of Farmers Boulevard in Queens, banging on a garbage can, all the way to the Kennedy Center Honors, that’s a long journey.”