The White House announced on Saturday that President Donald Trump [VIDEO] and First Lady Melania Trump have decided not to attend the kennedy center honors ceremony on December 3 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The broadcast date for this prestigious event is not until December 26. That is always something good to watch the day after Christmas.

The decision was made to allow the honorees to celebrate without any distractions by their presence. They did send congratulations to the honorees via of the Kennedy Center.

Honorees are usually seated with the current United States President and First Lady. This is unfortunate because this year will be the 40th anniversary of the event.

Honorees

The 2017 honorees include Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear, Lionel Richie, and Carmen de Lavallade. Like other years, the center honors the achievements of the artists in their special careers. The ceremony is just one celebration of the weekend that also includes a White House reception.

Responses from honorees

Trump's decision was made just days after Lear and de Lavallade said in different statements that they would attend the ceremony where they would be honored, but they were not attending the White House reception, according to what the New York Times reported.

De Lavallade stated that she would not go to the reception because of the principles of the current leadership in the White House. Lear said something similar because of Trump's views about the arts and humanities.

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Last Tuesday, Richie admitted that he was considering not attending the actual ceremony because he is not pleased with what the president is doing and what he has said in recent days. However, he has not made up his mind yet.

When all the honorees were first announced earlier this month, both LL Cool J and Estefan expressed their apprehension about not attending the ceremony with Trump, but they did not say they wouldn't attend. The rapper said the ceremony is not about Trump. Therefore, he is not going to block his blessing by not attending or let Trump's politics stop him from embracing his art. Estefan is a Cuban-born immigrant and says it would be an honor to get this American award.

Now that the announcement has been made that Trump will not attend, perhaps the honorees will reconsider and decide to be there to receive their honors for the hard work they have done over the years.

Officials of the Kennedy Center Honors acknowledged Trump's decision not to attend this year's ceremony. This is not the first time the president has chosen not to be present at a traditional event. Last April, he did not attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.