Obama to give arts medals to Brooks, Freeman, Gordy next week
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will recognize the comedic talents of Mel Brooks, the Motown sound of Berry Gordy and the iconic voice of Morgan Freeman on Sept. 22 when he hands out the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal at the White House. Obama has said the star-studded annual event has been one of his favorites during his time in office.
The White House released the list of honorees on Wednesday, including a couple of people with ties to Obama. Freeman is involved with the Obama Foundation, which is raising money for Obama’s presidential library in Chicago. Celebrity chef Jose Andres, who will receive a humanities medal, has worked with the White House on immigration reform issues. Andres is being sued by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for backing out of a deal to open a restaurant in his new Washington hotel after Trump made disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants. Also among the 24 honorees: musicians Wynton Marsalis and Santiago Jimenez; composer Philip Glass; actor Audra McDonald; and authors Sandra Cisneros, Ron Chernow, Rudolfo Anaya, and James McBride. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Andrew Hay)