Lear will be awarded at the end of the year with a Kennedy Center Honor which comes with a reception at the White House with the president. While Lear is not refusing to accept his medal, he is taking a stand against going to meet Donald Trump in the White House.
The producer elaborated on his decision to skip the reception to press during a One Day at a Time event for the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
"A presidency that turns its back on the arts and refuses to fund the arts and humanities — I can't imagine wishing to go there. That's entirely the basis," he said. "It's almost not political...I understand everything else that's going on and you can imagine how I feel about [Trump]. It's the turning your back on the arts, I can't honor that with a visit."
President Trump proposed cutting all government funding to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities as part of his new budget plan earlier this year. Lear believes that when the world does reach full equality that the media and arts will have a large part to do with that progress and he can't reconcile Trump's disrespect of the arts. Lear's current series One Day at a Time focuses on a Cuban-American family dealing with PTSD, immigration and LGBT representation — issues that haven't had support from the Trump administration.
The other Kennedy Center Honor recipients this year include: dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, hip hop artist LL Cool J and musician Lionel Richie.
The honors gala takes place Dec. 3 and will be broadcast on Dec. 26.
One Day at a Time Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix. Season 2 will premiere in 2018.