Norman Lear is the legendary TV producer behind such groundbreaking sitcoms as All In The Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, and One Day At A Time. And he’s still at it, rebooting One Day At A Time with Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce. Lear also recently celebrated his 95th birthday on the set of the latter, so not only is he used to the acclaim, but we can safely assume he’s seen some shit.
So when Variety reports that Lear, who’s among this year’s Kennedy Center honorees, is opting out of the pre-ceremony reception at the White House, that news is seems perfectly in keeping with his well-earned IDGAF attitude. The TV vet tells Variety that he’s abstaining from rubbing elbows with Trump because our new president—whom Lear has described as a “real-life Archie Bunker,” though with none of Carroll O’Connor’s charm—wants to effectively eliminate arts funding. “I think the arts are important for our humanity, and that includes this administration,” Lear says, as perhaps the only person to suggest that there’s any humanity in the current administration.
The president doesn’t actually pick the honorees—if he did, he’d probably try to retroactively recognize his achievements in catchphrases for The Apprentice—but he does host the party ahead of the ceremony. Lear is prepared to reverse his decision if Trump changes his. That’s probably not going to happen, so Lear says the president of the Kennedy Center understands why he’s going to miss out on that part of the proceedings. There’s currently no indication that any of the other 2017 honorees, including Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, and Carmen de Lavallade, will also be skipping the White House shindig.