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MSNBC is going ahead with its annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner afterparty, the network announced Friday.
“NBC News and MSNBC will again host our annual after-party following the White House Correspondents Association dinner,” an NBC News spokesperson said in a statement. “This evening has always been a celebration of the First Amendment and developing the next generation of correspondents. In that spirit, we’ve historically supported deserving organizations, and will do so again this year through a donation to the National Press Club’s Scholarship for Journalism Diversity.”
The annual dinner has been under a cloud of uncertainty for months with Hollywood A-listers signaling their intention to skip the first dinner during the administration of Donald Trump, who has maligned the press the “enemy of the people.” Vanity Fair and The New Yorker have declined to hold parties in Washington, D.C., breaking with what had become custom during the Obama years when the dinner had become a glitzy, celebrity-packed event with top entertainers including Seth Meyers, Wanda Sykes and Larry Wilmore booked to roast the media and the president.
There is no entertainment booked for this year’s dinner, which will take place April 29 at the Washington Hilton. (As THR first reported back in February, Late Late Show host James Corden was asked, but passed.) Trump last month announced that he would not attend. And on March 28, the White House informed the Correspondents’ Association leadership that the entire White House staff would be sitting out this year’s event out of “solidarity” with their boss.
“The WHCA board regrets this decision very much,” association president Jeff Mason said in a letter sent to the organization. “We have worked hard to build a constructive relationship with the Trump White House and believe strongly that this goal is possible even with the natural tension between the press and administrations that is a hallmark of a healthy republic. We made clear in our meeting tonight that President Trump, Vice President Pence and White House staff continue to be welcome to join us at this dinner.”
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