WASHINGTON—In response to announcement from the Kennedy Center today that People For the American Way Founder Norman Lear would receive the Kennedy Center Honors Award this fall, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“Throughout his career Norman has been a champion of the essential American values of freedom, justice and equality, and on behalf of our members, our board and our staff, I want to congratulate him on receiving the Kennedy Center Honors. Norman has shaped entertainment, and politics, in profound ways since longer than many of us can remember. I can’t think of anyone who more richly deserves this honor.
“I’m also proud of Norman’s announcement that he won’t attend any White House ceremonies associated with this honor. Anyone who knows Norman knows how he reveres the symbols of our democracy, from the Declaration of Independence to the White House itself. And he’s engaged and worked with presidents of both parties throughout his career, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush to Barack Obama. Norman’s refusal to set foot in Donald Trump’s White House is as powerful a reminder as any that the hate and bigotry that Donald Trump espouses on a daily basis isn’t business-as-usual, it’s a threat to the civic compact upon which this nation was founded.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.