Carmen de Lavallade, a legendary dancer and choreographer, announced Thursday that she will not attend the White House reception thrown partially in her honor prior to the Kennedy Center’s celebration of her contribution to the American arts.

With this announcement, de Lavallade becomes the second Kennedy Center Honors award winner to decline attendance to the White House reception in December.

“I am truly honored to receive the Kennedy Center Honors Award and look forward to attending the ceremony at the Kennedy Center,” de Lavallade wrote in a statement on her website. “In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House.”

de Lavallade will be honored this year alongside Lionel RichieNorman LearGloria Estefan, and LL Cool J, the first hip-hop artist to win the award.

Lear, the television writer and producer behind several celebrated sitcoms including All in the FamilySanford and Sons, and The Jeffersons, announced in early August that he would not be attending the White House reception.

“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 told The New York Times several weeks ago.

Estefan and LL Cool J have both said that they plan on attending the event – Estefan says she plans to use her time with President Donald Trump to explain to him the important role immigrants play in American society.

Richie said that he plans to “play it by ear.”

“I’m not really happy as to what is going on right now with the controversies,” Richie said during an interview on The Today Show earlier this week.

Speaking about his decision to wait it out – the White House reception and Kennedy Center ceremony both wont be held until December – Richie said, “We may be in a whole different world by that time.”

Leave a comment

Subscribe to the uInterview newsletter

Read more about: