kennedy center honors

Cher, Hamilton Among 2018 Kennedy Center Honorees, Which Won’t Be Awkward for Trump at All

Can’t wait. Photo: Getty Images

The Kennedy Center has announced its 2018 class and among them are many a foe of the current president: Cher, Reba McEntire, composer Philip Glass, and jazz musician Wayne Shorter are this year’s honorees, while, in a first for the ceremony, Hamilton will receive a special honor. Typically, the awards have gone to individual artists, with a few exceptions; Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, music director Alex Lacamoire, and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler will all be honored on the show’s behalf, making them the youngest recipients in the show’s history. Though the Kennedy Center Honors are technically nonpartisan, its ceremony last year was mired in controversy when several honorees threatened not to attend in protest of Donald Trump. Ultimately, the Trumps decided to skip it “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

A White House spokesperson tells the New York Times it’s not yet known if the Trumps will attend this year’s ceremony. But if they do, the photo ops could get awkward fast: Cher, a Hillary supporter, has sparred with Trump on Twitter (and that was before he was even in office), and once compared him to Hitler. Meanwhile, Miranda tweeted to Trump “you’re going straight to hell” in response to Trump’s criticism of San Juan’s mayor following Hurricane Maria. Hamilton’s cast also famously feuded with Mike Pence, prompting Trump to call the show “overrated” and demand an apology to the vice-president. Cher and Miranda have not yet confirmed their attendance; McEntire has said she will attend. For his part, Glass tells the Washington Post that he hopes Trump shows up so the honorees can personally confront him about his disregard for the arts: “The best thing would be if he would come to the awards and meet us and talk to us. This president ignores the arts, and no one has ignored them as he has. It wasn’t ignored under Kennedy, under Nixon, under the Bushes. This is a break from that, and to me, it’s disappointing.”

Cher, Hamilton Among 2018 Kennedy Center Honorees