Trump White House’s First State Dinner High on Pomp, Low on Star Wattage

Donald Trump’s first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will include 120 guests, a cream and gold color scheme, rack of spring lamb for the main course and white floral centerpieces of sweet peas and white lilacs.

What it won’t have is Hollywood glamour.

Celebrities have long been a staple of Washington state dinners. But unlike, say, the Obama years, which featured the likes of Beyoncé, Steven Spielberg and James Taylor, this year’s event is low on star wattage, with the Washington National Opera serving as the featured entertainment.

Except for Melania Trump’s broad-brimmed white hat earlier in the day, which drew immediate comparisons to “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, perhaps the only other Hollywood connection at the state dinner was movie-financier-turned-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Also Read: Rupert Murdoch to Attend Trump White House’s First State Dinner

Among the non-politics celebs who arrived at the Mount Vernon dinner were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall, Olympic curler John Shuster, and women’s hockey player Meghan Duggan. On the politics side, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, Chief Justice John Roberts, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, aide Stephen Miller, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Henry Kissinger, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were there.

The lone Democrat invited was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, whose office confirmed to TheWrap he and his wife will be attending.

Getty

In contrast, the Obama’s first state dinner for then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur in 2009 was held in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. The dinner included 400 guests, including Steven Spielberg, Katie Couric and actors Blair Underwood and Alfre Woodard.

It was also the year when a couple of party crashers made headlines: Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The Washington socialites were filming “Real Housewives of D.C.,” and made an entrance even though their names were not on the list.

Also Read: Trump Cleans Dandruff Off Macron Shoulder in Show of Friendship (Video)

The Obamas’ list of Hollywood celebs famously included Beyoncé, who headlined the 2010 state dinner for Mexico’s then-President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala. Angela Merkel had a friend in James Taylor during her state dinner in 2011. British Prime Minister David Cameron got to enjoy some John Legend and Mumford and Sons in 2012. And Mary J. Blige had gave some real love to Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande during his state dinner in 2014.

The Obama’s last state dinner, for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini in 2016, featured a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers. Gwen Stefani, former racing driver Mario Andretti, fashion designer Georgio Armani, celebrity chef Mario Batali, Disney lobbyist Richard Bates, and actor Roberto Benigni, who won an Oscar for 1999’s “Life Is Beautiful” were among the dinner guests.

Republican presidents typically have a harder time wrangling A-listers for their dinners.

First lady Laura Bush’s first state dinner was an intimate dinner honoring then-Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife, Martha Sahagun de Fox in 2001.  The guest list included tenor Placido Domingo, Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green, after-dinner entertainment soprano Dawn Upshaw and the lone Hollywood representative, Clint Eastwood.

Other celebrities attending state dinners during the Bush years include country crooner Kenny Chesney in 2006, famed violinist Itzhak Perlman in 2007 and the Broadway production of “The Lion King” in 2008.

Spent yesterday with my team checking on the final details of our first State Dinner with France. pic.twitter.com/vHoQ1rTA3s

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 23, 2018

Is Melania Trump’s white hat a symbol of morality like Olivia Pope’s? pic.twitter.com/JZRHL7iuOi

— KOlive (@kmomonahan) April 24, 2018

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Donald Trump’s first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will include 120 guests, a cream and gold color scheme, rack of spring lamb for the main course and white floral centerpieces of sweet peas and white lilacs.

What it won’t have is Hollywood glamour.

Celebrities have long been a staple of Washington state dinners. But unlike, say, the Obama years, which featured the likes of Beyoncé, Steven Spielberg and James Taylor, this year’s event is low on star wattage, with the Washington National Opera serving as the featured entertainment.

Except for Melania Trump’s broad-brimmed white hat earlier in the day, which drew immediate comparisons to “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, perhaps the only other Hollywood connection at the state dinner was movie-financier-turned-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Among the non-politics celebs who arrived at the Mount Vernon dinner were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall, Olympic curler John Shuster, and women’s hockey player Meghan Duggan. On the politics side, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, Chief Justice John Roberts, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, aide Stephen Miller, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Henry Kissinger, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were there.

The lone Democrat invited was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, whose office confirmed to TheWrap he and his wife will be attending.

Getty

In contrast, the Obama’s first state dinner for then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur in 2009 was held in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. The dinner included 400 guests, including Steven Spielberg, Katie Couric and actors Blair Underwood and Alfre Woodard.

It was also the year when a couple of party crashers made headlines: Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The Washington socialites were filming “Real Housewives of D.C.,” and made an entrance even though their names were not on the list.

The Obamas’ list of Hollywood celebs famously included Beyoncé, who headlined the 2010 state dinner for Mexico’s then-President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala. Angela Merkel had a friend in James Taylor during her state dinner in 2011. British Prime Minister David Cameron got to enjoy some John Legend and Mumford and Sons in 2012. And Mary J. Blige had gave some real love to Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande during his state dinner in 2014.

The Obama’s last state dinner, for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini in 2016, featured a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers. Gwen Stefani, former racing driver Mario Andretti, fashion designer Georgio Armani, celebrity chef Mario Batali, Disney lobbyist Richard Bates, and actor Roberto Benigni, who won an Oscar for 1999’s “Life Is Beautiful” were among the dinner guests.

Republican presidents typically have a harder time wrangling A-listers for their dinners.

First lady Laura Bush’s first state dinner was an intimate dinner honoring then-Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife, Martha Sahagun de Fox in 2001.  The guest list included tenor Placido Domingo, Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green, after-dinner entertainment soprano Dawn Upshaw and the lone Hollywood representative, Clint Eastwood.

Other celebrities attending state dinners during the Bush years include country crooner Kenny Chesney in 2006, famed violinist Itzhak Perlman in 2007 and the Broadway production of “The Lion King” in 2008.

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Anthony Anderson, La La Anthony Return to Host VH1’s ‘Dear Mama’ Special

“Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson and actress-host La La Anthony will get ample brownie points with mom this year, as the pair return to VH1 to host “Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms.”

The annual special — which in case it is unclear, is to commemorate Mother’s Day — brings back both personalities to help superstars salute their matriarchs. This year’s installment will tape at Downtown L.A.’s Ace Hotel Theater, and air on May 7 at 9 p,m.

Previous guests (and their moms) include Alicia Keys, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, DJ Khaled, Kelly Rowland and Maxwell.

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Anderson currently stars on and executive produces the hit ABC show “Black-ish,” as well as its spinoff “grown-ish.” He recently won his fourth individual NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.”

Anthony, from the Starz series “Power,” has produced on Broadway, appeared in numerous films and is a New York Times best-selling author.

“Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms” is produced by Flavor Unit and Jesse Collins Entertainment. Shakim Compere, Queen Latifah, Jesse Collins, and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay are executive producers.

Amy Doyle, Garrett English, Elena Diaz and Andria Parides are producing for VH1, with Joe Buoye as head of production.

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“Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson and actress-host La La Anthony will get ample brownie points with mom this year, as the pair return to VH1 to host “Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms.”

The annual special — which in case it is unclear, is to commemorate Mother’s Day — brings back both personalities to help superstars salute their matriarchs. This year’s installment will tape at Downtown L.A.’s Ace Hotel Theater, and air on May 7 at 9 p,m.

Previous guests (and their moms) include Alicia Keys, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, DJ Khaled, Kelly Rowland and Maxwell.

Anderson currently stars on and executive produces the hit ABC show “Black-ish,” as well as its spinoff “grown-ish.” He recently won his fourth individual NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.”

Anthony, from the Starz series “Power,” has produced on Broadway, appeared in numerous films and is a New York Times best-selling author.

“Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms” is produced by Flavor Unit and Jesse Collins Entertainment. Shakim Compere, Queen Latifah, Jesse Collins, and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay are executive producers.

Amy Doyle, Garrett English, Elena Diaz and Andria Parides are producing for VH1, with Joe Buoye as head of production.

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'Black-ish' Stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross Tease Big Season 3 Changes, 'Evil' Daughter Diane

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'Black-ish' Star Anthony Anderson on Turning Police Brutality Into Comedy, Fears for Obama

Film Review: ‘Sherlock Gnomes’

“Sherlock Gnomes,” the sequel to “Gnomeo & Juliet” (which came out in 2011 — how on earth did we manage to keep our anticipation under control for this long?), lists Elton John as its sole executive producer, just as the earlier film did. The new movie not only features Elton John’s music (though there’s significantly less […]

“Sherlock Gnomes,” the sequel to “Gnomeo & Juliet” (which came out in 2011 — how on earth did we manage to keep our anticipation under control for this long?), lists Elton John as its sole executive producer, just as the earlier film did. The new movie not only features Elton John’s music (though there’s significantly less […]

Two Elton John Tribute Albums — With Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, More — Coming in April

Just days before a Grammy tribute concert to Elton John airs on April 10, two separate albums containing covers of songs written by him and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin by some of the world’s biggest artists will be released. “Revamp” and the country-themed “Restoration” will be released on April 6. The former album will feature artists in the […]

Just days before a Grammy tribute concert to Elton John airs on April 10, two separate albums containing covers of songs written by him and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin by some of the world’s biggest artists will be released. “Revamp” and the country-themed “Restoration” will be released on April 6. The former album will feature artists in the […]

Mary J. Blige, Miguel, Common: Oscar Inclusion Lives in the Original Song Race

It hadn’t been much commented on prior to the Oscars Sunday night, but there was really no category that better represented the inclusion, diversity, and marginalized communities that the Academy wanted to hold up than the Best Original Song category. That felt clearer while watching the performances of the five nominated songs over the course […]

It hadn’t been much commented on prior to the Oscars Sunday night, but there was really no category that better represented the inclusion, diversity, and marginalized communities that the Academy wanted to hold up than the Best Original Song category. That felt clearer while watching the performances of the five nominated songs over the course […]

Mary J. Blige makes Oscars history as the first double nominee for Best Song and Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige made history tonight at the 90th Academy Awards: As presenter Taraji P. Henson noted, Blige is the first person to ever receive double nominations for Best Original Song and Best Supporting Actress. Fortunately, it’s a year that the Oscars are featuring musical performances, so Blige was able to wow the…

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Mary J. Blige made history tonight at the 90th Academy Awards: As presenter Taraji P. Henson noted, Blige is the first person to ever receive double nominations for Best Original Song and Best Supporting Actress. Fortunately, it’s a year that the Oscars are featuring musical performances, so Blige was able to wow the…

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All 5 Best Actress Nominees Skip Ryan Seacrest on Oscar Carpet

All five women competing in this year’s Oscar race for Best Actress avoided what is typically the “must do” interview of the red carpet — a chat with Ryan Seacrest.

Amidst accusations of sexual misconduct against the busy E! News host — which he vehemently denies — his traffic at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater was noticeably lighter this year, especially when it came to stars nominated in key awards categories.

Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Meryl Streep (“The Post”) all skipped the E! spot on the Oscar carpet.

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Seacrest also declined to walk the red carpet before he began his hosting duties, breaking with his tradition of several years. He did land interviews with nominees like Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”) as well as high-profile presenters and attendees like Tiffany Haddish.

During his segments on the broadcast, cohosted by Giuliana Rancic, Seacrest avoided any talk of the sweeping #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have blanketed awards-season conversation since the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted.

Hours before the carpet commenced, Deadline reported that Seacrest would be afforded a 30- second delay from the network in case he was rejected live by talent, or in the event that anyone confronted him about the accusation on the air. The network denied it, saying no such measures would be taken and the show would be “business as usual.”

Less than a week ago, Seacrest’s accuser, former stylist Suzie Hardy, came forward with the specifics of a harassment claim she raised with E! owner NBCUniversal last November — including accusations that Seacrest groped her genitals and pressed his erection against her.

A formal investigation from the network said Seacrest was innocent of any wrongdoing. His lawyer also said Hardy sought $15 million in exchange for her silence. Hardy hit back and said Seacrest was pushing a “false narrative.”

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All five women competing in this year’s Oscar race for Best Actress avoided what is typically the “must do” interview of the red carpet — a chat with Ryan Seacrest.

Amidst accusations of sexual misconduct against the busy E! News host — which he vehemently denies — his traffic at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater was noticeably lighter this year, especially when it came to stars nominated in key awards categories.

Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Meryl Streep (“The Post”) all skipped the E! spot on the Oscar carpet.

Seacrest also declined to walk the red carpet before he began his hosting duties, breaking with his tradition of several years. He did land interviews with nominees like Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”) as well as high-profile presenters and attendees like Tiffany Haddish.

During his segments on the broadcast, cohosted by Giuliana Rancic, Seacrest avoided any talk of the sweeping #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have blanketed awards-season conversation since the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted.

Hours before the carpet commenced, Deadline reported that Seacrest would be afforded a 30- second delay from the network in case he was rejected live by talent, or in the event that anyone confronted him about the accusation on the air. The network denied it, saying no such measures would be taken and the show would be “business as usual.”

Less than a week ago, Seacrest’s accuser, former stylist Suzie Hardy, came forward with the specifics of a harassment claim she raised with E! owner NBCUniversal last November — including accusations that Seacrest groped her genitals and pressed his erection against her.

A formal investigation from the network said Seacrest was innocent of any wrongdoing. His lawyer also said Hardy sought $15 million in exchange for her silence. Hardy hit back and said Seacrest was pushing a “false narrative.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ryan Seacrest Didn't Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

E! Denies Ryan Seacrest Delay: 'Business as Usual'