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Lionel Richie weighing boycott of Kennedy Center Honors

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Lionel Richie says he’s weighing whether to boycott the Kennedy Center Honors this year because he’s “not really happy with what’s going on right now.”

The 68-year-old “Hello” singer is one of several high-profile Hollywood figures being recognized at December’s Honors ceremony.

{mosads}But when asked Tuesday on “Today” whether he would attend the prestigious and traditionally nonpartisan event, he told hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, “You know, I’m gonna just play it by ear.”

“I must tell you, I’m not really happy with what’s going on right now with the controversies. They’re weekly, daily, hourly,” Richie said. “But I think I’m just going to wait it out for a minute and see where it’s gonna be by that time.”

Norman Lear, another 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree, said earlier this month that he’ll boycott an Honors reception at the White House in protest of President Trump.

“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,” the “All in the Family” producer told The New York Times of the move.

“I’m gonna wait it out,” Richie said Tuesday. “I totally understand Norman’s point of view and I understand where we are as a country right now is going backwards. But all we can do is kind of sit here and hold our breaths for a minute.”

Just a day earlier, Richie reportedly told ABC Radio that he was planning on being at the ceremony in Washington.

“I think as an African-American, it is my place to stand there and show kids … that it is possible to reach the heights like this,” he said. “I was not born in Beverly Hills or raised on a trust fund. I got here by the sweat of my brow and the grace of God, so when you think of what it represents, yeah, I need to go.”

Rapper LL Cool J, singer Gloria Estefan and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade are also among the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors recipients.


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