President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to attend the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors, a gala celebrating performing arts legends that their predecessors sat out.
Former President Donald Trump snubbed the event, which has historically been hosted by the sitting first lady, in 2017 after a number of honorees threatened to boycott it if he attended.
Choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and TV producer Norman Lear were among those who said they didn’t want to share a room with Trump just months after his poor response to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump famously said after the rally, which featured neo-Nazi groups and other extremists, that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
The White House said at the time that the president and first lady Melania Trump wouldn’t attend to avoid “political distractions.”
The Trumps cited “scheduling conflicts” when they did not attend the event the following year. The White House did not release a statement about the first couple’s absence in 2019, and the in-person event for the 2020 gala was rescheduled until May 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s ceremony, which Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also plan to attend, will air live on CBS on Dec. 22.