Norman Lear Among 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees, Will Boycott Traditional Reception At The White House

The list of honorees for the first Kennedy Center Honors of the Trump administration has been released and unsurprisingly, things have already gotten political.

The New York Times reports:

The 40th annual award recipients include the groundbreaking television writer and producer Norman Lear, the immigrant singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, and the hip-hop star, LL Cool J. They will be joined by the musician and record producer Lionel Richie as well as the dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. In keeping with tradition, President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, will host a White House reception in December for honorees before appearing alongside them at one of Washington’s red-carpet events, the Kennedy Center Honors gala.

“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,” said Mr. Lear, the creative force behind pivotal sitcoms, including “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” that created political conversation in American households. He also founded People for the American Way, a nonprofit organization advocating against right-wing extremism. Mr. Lear said he had already informed the Kennedy Center that he would forgo the White House reception, a rare move in the Honors’ 39-year history.

People For The American Way is the parent of Right Wing Watch, so you can all thank Norman Lear and his tireless RWW staffers for all these years of important JMG content.

The other honorees all plan to attend the White House reception. Gloria Estefan says that she intends to bend Trump’s ear about the contributions immigrants have made to the United States. In 2015 Estefan and her husband were awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Obama.

  • Christopher

    Thank you sir, for everything you do.

    Norman Lear has been ahead of the curve for quite some time. He deserves this honour. (I’m actually stunned that he hadn’t already received this award.)

  • bkmn

    Al Franken had tweeted out congrats to Lear, Estefan and LL Cool J and one of the people that follows Franked commented “I doubt President Two Chin will bother to show up”.

  • JaniceInToronto

    Trump won’t give a flying fuck what Gloria Estefan says to him.

    Waste of breath.

    • jimbo65

      Yeah, it would go something like this

      • William


    • Joseph Miceli

      Well, if he grabs her by the pussy we can count on her to knock the shit out of him before the Secret Service takes her down.

      • DuaneR

        Or cut him. I thought that’s what they do – cut a bitch.

        • Nowhereman

          No, I think that’s “moved on her like a bitch”. I’m still trying to sort that out.

      • joeyj1220

        Gloria is far too old for Donald’s tastes

    • kaydenpat

      If she persists, he may have her deported. Not sure what she thinks she’s going to get out of “bending his ear”.

    • lymis

      Please. He’ll ask her why she isn’t carrying trays of canapés and tell her to get back to the kitchens.

  • Gustav2

    Well, as long as Trump is in the Whitie House, it is a dump.

    • BudClark

      YE GODS! They’ll have to gut the inside just to get rid of the STENCH!

  • JWC

    Donny and Mellie are social misfits and fuckups Gloria would make more of a statemnet following Normans lead

  • hoover2001

    He never thought we’d have a dumber version of Archie Bunker in the White House.

    • Joseph Miceli

      Archie has better hair.

      • hoover2001

        And had to actually work for a living.

        • Beagle

          And only had one wife.

  • Boreal

    I would not only boycott, but make a speech with the orange sphincter sitting in the audience that slams him.

  • FAEN

    Love you Norman.

  • Uncle Mark

    Good on you, Mr Lear !! I would have suggested that Mr Lear suggest replacing the chair in the Oval Office with Archie Bunker’s…but Trump and his ilk would probably take that as a compliment.

  • JoeMyGod

    For ten minutes in 2009 I stood next to Norman Lear in the lobby of Broadway’s Majestic Theater as we awaited the start of the Ali Forney Center’s memorial for Bea Arthur. I had to keep telling myself it was bad form to ask for an autograph at a funeral. Later as the quite raunchy tributes flowed from the stage, I regretted not asking.

    • JoeMyGod

      BTW – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen shows in every official Broadway house by now, but that was my one time at the Majestic as it’s hosted Phantom Of The Opera since dinosaurs ruled the earth.

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      I’m happy to hear that Bea Arthur had raunchy tributes. I’m certain she would have approved.

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  • coram nobis

    Just as well. Even Archie Bunker would have thought Donald to be too much.

    ARCHIE (pointing): That is what determines the morality in this house!
    MEATHEAD (incredulous): The television set?
    ARCHIE: No! The bible! (turns) Edith! What’s the bible doing on the TV set?
    EDITH: It kept falling off the refrigerator!

    • TheManicMechanic

      I remember when Archie asked Edith to read the first part of their bible, and she said, “Placed here by the Gideons.”

  • JT

    There should be an alternative gathering with “Fuck that Drumpf Nazi Shit” as its theme.

  • jimbo65

    Good for him! I can’t see 45 having a clue as to the works of many of the nominees. He’s a boor with no culture whatsoever.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Archie Bunker was drümpf’s kinda guy.

      • William

        Archie evolved.

  • KBlackie

    THANK YOU NORMAN! I had no idea that one endeavor led to the other! Very grateful for his work and yours too, Joe. Keep up the good fight!

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    After all these year, Norman Lear still knows how to stick it to bigots, buffoons and blowhards. Well done Sir, well done.

  • Galvestonian

    Well, let us hope that by December Orangina Shitstick will no longer be in the Whitehouse.

    • BudClark

      What a lovely Yuletide present THAT would be!!!

  • BearEyes

    I thank PFW with a cheque every year.

  • bambinoitaliano
    • Octavio

      I love sassy teacher!

      • bambinoitaliano

        He is the only bright spot in all of the photos being released from the White House since the shit gibbon and his clans invasion.

        • Octavio

          His photo meeting the asshole in the White house showed up in Clarín,the favorite newspaper of the masses in. BsAs

  • The Milkman

    I had no idea Norman Lear founded People for the American Way. Makes me respect him even more.

  • Derrick Johns

    Courage. And thank you to Lear (a genius) and all those who refuse to attend this year. Even under George W– you would attend, but this is a f.king goon. Thank you all for your courage.

  • Bryan

    I also applaud Gloria Estefan for wanting to “bend Trump’s ear about the contributions immigrants have made to the United States,” except he won’t care.

    • Treant

      Sometimes you take somebody to task not because it’ll help them, but because it’ll help you.

    • ChrisInKansas

      Will he say “Get her outta here!!!”?

      I wouldn’t put it past him. I wouldn’t put anything past him.

      • kaydenpat

        That’s too classy. He’ll get his supporters to physically assault her like he did during his Nazi rallies to protesters.

      • aagold76 .

        he’ll tweet that she’s a boring loser

    • Megrim Twist

      Hopefully a Jan-Brewer-wagging-finger-in-the-pResident’s-face moment.

      • Derrick Johns

        You remembered that moment. It broke my heart. I wish Obama would have broken Brewer’s finger. Maybe I’m kinda’ ghetto.

        • netxtown

          No one wants a spindly old prick in their personal space….be it 5th ave or the ghetto.

    • canoebum

      He’ll pretend to be listening while he decides if she’s grab-worthy.

    • Tawreos

      He’ll care enough to be pissed that “the help” is talking to him.

  • Rex

    The presence of Trump ruins everything.

  • Circ09

    Lear is only NOW getting a Kennedy Center Honor?! How is that even possible?

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      That was my reaction. He was a trailblazer.

    • Rex

      Actually the timing is perfect. If Lear can get under Trump’s skin I’m all for it.

      • Mike_in_the_Tundra

        Good point.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Must’ve ruffled the wrong feathers.

  • Rex

    Trump opposes just about everything these honorees stand for.

  • JDS

    This event is going to be one big shit show with Drumph. I bet he falls asleep.

  • ChrisInKansas

    I can’t imagine Trump wanting to go.

    “Not interested. They’re all has-beens. When was the last time Gloria Escovar had a big song? And the big black guy scares me. Call Dennis Rodman. See if he’s ok.”

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      The reception is at his house.

  • Good for him. More people need to take a stand.

  • Boreal
  • JWC

    Donny’s attention span would zone him out in 15 mins if not sooner

    • Joseph Miceli

      “Melania, we need to cut this artsy stuff short. WWE is on.”

      • JWC

        the easier thing to do ,since trump cut funding to the arts is to disinvite Trmp and the Tramp

      • JDS

        Melanoma will wonder when they bring on the Russian Dancing Bears.

  • Rex

    I hope they have Rob Reiner there to speak about Lear, it would be awesome considering how much he loathes Donald Trump.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    If 100% of the honorees refused the invite, it would make more of an impact. As others have pointed out, ‘bending Trump’s ear’ is a pointless exercise.

  • Rex

    Trump will show up only because he’ll think he’s being honored.

    • kaydenpat

      Lol! Thankfully he can’t commandeer everyone’s attention by giving a “me me me” speech like he usually does when he has a captive audience.

      • Joseph Miceli

        That’s probably why he won’t go.

    • Joseph Miceli

      “I’m the biggest artist, because my reality show got the best ratings. I had the best people, huge really. “

  • Joseph Miceli

    For eight years, I have enjoyed the Kennedy specials as the greatest artists of our time were honored and their peers performed before our elegant and urbane First Couple, who championed and supported the arts.
    Now this common, buffoonish refuge from a failed reality show is our President and the “liberal, Hollywood elite” are supposed to give him a command performance? Well, is it art to give the Donald a middle finger? I don’t know, but I’d pay to see it.

  • JT


    In a pre-authorization denial letter to a gay patient seeking Truvada as
    PrEP, United Healthcare cited “high risk homosexual behavior” as their
    reason for denying his claim. Seriously. Because we all know PrEP is
    meant for people who are, you know, not at risk for HIV infection.

    Isn’t United Healthcare the insurance company recommended by AARP for supplemental coverage, etc.? Heads should roll over this.

    • Hue-Man

      “Your claim for birth control pills is denied because you are at risk of getting pregnant!'”

      • edrex

        menstruation is a pre-existing condition.

    • AJayne

      Not just the company recommended by AARP, but contracted to underwrite all policies sold through AARP…

    • ChrisMorley

      England’s National Health Service today announced the provision of PrEP, in a national “trial” where anyone who fits the risk criteria will get it, starting in September.
      They blocked and obstructed for many months but were twice beaten in the courts where they were smacked down, hard. Meanwhile those with money have been sourcing generics via

  • Hue-Man

    Last fall’s PBS American Masters program showed Norman Lear’s impact on American TV. Full video (geo-blocked).

    • Megrim Twist

      This is an excellent program.

    • worstcultever

      Also I highly recommend Lear’s memoir “Even This I Get to Experience.” LOTS of behind-the-scenes stuff on so many amazing shows. (I had even forgotten that “Mary Hartman” was Lear!)

  • justmeeeee

    So Trump is gonna be left entertaining four ethnic types and the only white guy invited has dissed him??? AWKWARD!!!!!

  • Richard

    “Bend his ear” ? Like that will make a difference? All Honorees should boycott the White House reception !

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Who would want to attend a reception at such a dump? ;-/

  • Hank

    Norman Lear Among 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees, Will Boycott Traditional Reception At The White House

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    The Kennedy Center Honors people should absolutely NOT invite Trump. Invite the Obamas again. And why do the Kennedy Center people hate Betty White?

  • EdmondWherever

    Gloria Estefan says that she intends to bend Trump’s ear

    En Español, Gloria, por favor.

    • lymis

      Oh, better yet, rush up to Melania, gush all over her with huge smiles, then stop and turn to Trump with an extended hand and “Oh, I’m so sorry. And you are….?”

  • bdsmjack

    Thanks, Mr.. Lear. Shame on the rest of you, for going.

  • Elsewhere1010

    You have to be a special kind of naive to think that, as an entertainer, you have the ability to influence Trump with your own ideas. I mean, it’s not like you’re on Fox & Friends and he’s actually paying attention.

    Mr. Lear has, I believe, the right idea here.

  • Hank

    OT: NAACP issues its first statewide travel advisory, for Missouri

  • Hanwi

    Those “minorities” are delusional if they think they can influence drumpf.

  • CPT_Doom

    Big question – will Donnie and the girlfriend attend the ceremonies themselves. I remember when Elizabeth Taylor was feted by the Center and she had the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington serenade her, in front of the anti-gay Bush. I can only imagine what the people feting Lear will say (if I were them, I’d have them all come out and recite the Access Hollywood comments, over and over).

  • JWC

    so sorry to inform you these guys have applied for assylun in Canada

    • Tomcat

      Smart birds.

  • Tomcat


  • Natty Enquirer
  • aagold76 .

    you don’t have to accept the Kennedy Honor- Katharine Hepburn turned it down several times- mostly because she didn’t like Re- finally accepting under Bush I partly because he didn’t think she’d be alive when a Democrat got back in the White House.

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    wait, no Ted Nugget?

  • andrew

    Hopefully Lear’s belief that Trump has “chosen to neglect totally the Arts and Humanities” is not the only or even the main reason that attending the White House reception “doesn’t rest pleasantly” with him. There are scores of important reasons why Americans should avoid Trump’s company.

  • kareemachan

    I’d accept the award and be conveniently “sick” on that night.

  • JCF

    Norman, Leo and I already know of MUCH better parties to attend!

  • Nowhereman

    Gloria Estefan will be wasting her breath. If Trump can even hear her, he will just tell her to be quiet. Frankly, I’d love it if they ALL boycotted it.

  • Jack

    Gloria but not Emilio? What a dis to MSM.

  • John Klapper

    The ceremony at the Kennedy Center should be amazing. Most likely Steven Colbert will be the host. He won’t have to say a word, just him being there will make Trump squirm

  • cleos_mom

    Will the attendees have bar codes tattooed on their rumps?

  • Gregory In Seattle

    I was going to post something scathing, but decided to just put this link here. Why reinvent the parasol when Randy Rainbow is already casting so much shade?

  • e jerry powell

    I’m not exactly overwhelmed by this year’s class of honorees, but good on Lear for this.

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    I’m a late comer to Norman Lear’s Archie Bunker (and George Jefferson), having just started watching “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” for the first time in the last few months on MeTV.

    I’d heard that Archie Bunker was basically a unreconstructed bigot, but I find him more complicated than that. His bigotry, while funny, always seems to get him in trouble. He was irascible like so many family members are, but he ultimately had a good heart.

    And while he seems gruff, he’s actually a softy and does the right thing in spite of his grumbling. He seems to be aware that he’s prejudiced and isn’t exactly proud of it. Sometimes he’s unintentionally bigoted.

    And Edith, who he often treats like a dingbat, does teach him stuff and gets him to see he’s wrong, even if he won’t verbally admit it. And ultimately he dearly loves her.

    I’ve read a few things about Norman Lear’s intention for Archie, which was to actually use Archie’s character, not to glorify prejudice, but to point out the ridiculousness of bigotry. He used the show (and other shows) to try and advance liberal ideas.

    In any event, Norman Lear was a pioneer in TV for liberal values, and has long put his money where his mouth is. I salute him for his steadfastness on liberal values and his award! Props to him for not going to the White House reception.

  • wmforr

    Gloria is going to have the whole Latino community watching her. Hope she gives him a proper tongue-lashing.
    And as for LL Coo Jl. I don’t follow rap, but when he played the cook in that shark movie (Deep Blue Sea)he was adorable. With the tough macho image of rap, why are so many of the artists cuddly pussycats?