Norman Lear’s actions will speak even louder than his words when it comes to Donald Trump’s lack of support for the arts. The iconic television producer, who will be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor later this year, is refusing to meet with Donald Trump at a White House reception for this year’s Kennedy Center honorees. Lear, 95, will accept the Kennedy Center medal, but he plans to take a stand against Trump’s policies by skipping the tradition of meeting with the President and First Lady at the pre-party for the event, according to TV Guide.
“A presidency that turns its back on the arts and refuses to fund the arts and humanities — I can’t imagine wishing to go there,” Lear told reporters at a TCA press event.
“That’s entirely the basis. It’s almost not political…I understand everything else that’s going on and you can imagine how I feel about [Trump]. It’s the turning your back on the arts, I can’t honor that with a visit.”
Earlier this year, Donald Trump proposed cutting all government funding to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities as part of his new budget plan.
Norman Lear clearly doesn’t see eye to eye with Trump—and not just when it comes to funding for the arts. In addition to producing the iconic sitcoms All In The Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons, Lear founded People For The American Way, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of Constitutional rights and the First Amendment. Lear has visited the White House in the past, including a visit to meet President Jimmy Carter with the All in the Family cast in 1978.
Norman Lear is also the producer of One Day at a Time. The Netflix reboot of the 1970s sitcom is about a Cuban-American family dealing with PTSD, immigration, and LGBT issues, three hot-button topics in Trump’s White House. In light of the budget cut proposals and his differing views on Trump and his policies, Lear told reporters it was “a very simple decision” to skip the reception at the White House ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors.
In a series of social media posts, Norman Lear explained that “he would never turn his back on the Kennedy Center, which represents the Arts and Humanities which mean “everything” to him. What Norman says he is not accepting is that reception with Trump.
Norman Lear also trolled Donald Trump by posting a video comparing him to his loud-mouthed All in the Family character, Archie Bunker.
Norman Lear is receiving plenty of support in Hollywood and all over the world after his announcement that he will boycott the White House reception. Rosie O’Donnell, a devout denouncer of Trump, thanked Lear from taking a stand.
In addition to Norman Lear, this year’s Kennedy Center Honor recipients this year include choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, hip hop artist LL Cool J, and musician Lionel Richie.
The Kennedy Center Honors gala takes place Dec. 3.
[Featured Image By Jesse Grant/Getty Images for VH1]