President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced Saturday that they will not attend the Kennedy Center Honors, after multiple honorees said they would boycott the event.
The news came in a press release from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Politico reports.
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"The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year's activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," the statement said. "First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments."
Several prominent artists have said they will not attend the event following Trump's divisive comments in the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend.
Dancer Carmen de Lavallade announced Thursday she would be skipping "in light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our current leadership is choosing to engage in." Television producer Norman Lear also will not attend.
Singer Lionel Ritchie is a "maybe." Singer Gloria Estefan said she plans to attend to convince Trump of the value of immigrants.
Trump's cancellation came after a number of prominent members of the President's Committee on the arts resigned Friday in a letter which called on Trump to step down from the presidency.