President Donald Trump will be awarding Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight with the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony to take place later this week.
According to The Hill, Voight — who is one of the president’s most outspoken supporters in all of Hollywood — will receive the prestigious award for his “exceptional capacity as an actor to portray deeply complex characters,” a statement from the White House said.
“Captivating audiences, he has given us insights into the richness of the human mind and heart,” the statement read.
Thursday will mark the first time the president has chosen to recognize an artist with the award, as he declined to do so in his first two years in the White House, as Hot Air reported. The late President Ronald Reagan, a former actor himself, signed the bill into law in 1984, which created the program to recognize the accomplishments of those in the arts.
The decision for Trump to recognize Voight for the award drew both criticism and praise from several media outlets.
“Until this point, Trump has shown little enthusiasm for the arts world. For three years running, he’s proposed budgets attempting to zero out federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts,” The Atlantic‘s Peter Nicholas wrote.
Voight won an Academy Award for his 1978 performance in the movie, Coming Home. The 80-year-old actor also has several Academy Award nominations under his belt from a number of films spanning his long and successful career in Tinseltown.
Not only has the actor publicly supported Trump and his presidency, he has often praised the president for his work in the White House while taking aim at his liberal counterparts in Hollywood and across the nation.
“Our country is stronger, safer and with more jobs because our president has made his every move correct,” Voight said in May. “Don’t be fooled by the political left because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph,” he added.
Author James Patterson and bluegrass artist Alison Krauss will also be recognized at the White House ceremony on Thursday. Patterson, who authored a book about Jeffrey Epstein in 2016, will reportedly receive the National Humanities Medal.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the awards ceremony will take place during the same week that the House Intelligence Committee — chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff — will interview a number of new witnesses in the ongoing impeachment investigation into the president.
One of the witnesses, Jennifer Williams, who works as an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, will be in the spotlight as a recent transcript release of her previous closed-door testimony revealed that she believed the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president was “inappropriate.”