The annual fête between the White House and reporters who keep tabs on it has taken another strange turn under the media-bashing leadership of Donald Trump.
Time Inc. and People magazine have canceled an annual cocktail party ― which usually attracts a smattering of celebrity guests ― held prior to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to instead promote freedom of the press, Variety reports.
“This year we have decided to focus on supporting the White House Correspondents’ Association, which plays a crucial role in advocating for the broadest possible access for the press at the White House,” Alan Murray, Time Inc.’s chief content officer, said in a statement provided to the publication. News and culture outlets Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Bloomberg have also canceled parties surrounding the dinner.
Over the past couple years, the Time/People party has attracted the likes of Karlie Kloss, Vivica A. Fox, Gina Rodriguez, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laverne Cox and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The event, affectionately labeled “nerd prom” by some, is known for its hefty swag bags that consistently excite Washington Post reporters.
While Time will still participate in the dinner, People will instead make a donation to the White House Correspondents’ Association, per Variety.
The 2017 correspondents’ dinner is already expected to be an unusual one for one big reason: The president won’t be there.
Trump, who has called the media “the enemy of the people,” tweeted last month his decision to skip the event, which serves as a show of good faith between the press and the administration. It is still scheduled for April 29.
The same day, however, “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee will host an alternative event. Aptly titled Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Bee will welcome an unknown number of guests in Washington hours before the black-tie affair in order to “properly roast the president,” she told The New York Times in January.
Featuring a menu of “bottomless cocktails and assloads of fancy fingerfoods,” The Hill reports, proceeds from Bee’s event will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit dedicated to press freedom.