**New York** The US President Donald Trump has decided to compete with the Academy Awards ceremony by staging the White House Governor’s Dinner, the first big black-tie soiree he has organised since taking office.
While the Oscars are under way in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, Trump and his wife Melania will host the annual ball to which the governors of the 50 states, both Democrats and Republicans, have been invited, Efe news agency reported.
The first lady said in a statement that Americans come together as a nation at this dinner, leaving aside political positions and partisan interests.
She will act as master of ceremonies at the high-profile dinner and, in so doing, will try to silence those who have criticised her for being largely absent from the White House, living in Manhattan as she does with her son Barron while he finishes out the school year.
With the ball, despite his extensive experience in show business, Trump on Sunday evening will immerse himself in hosting the governors and deflect or avoid directly witnessing the criticism that will probably be leveled at him at the Oscars, which begin at 5:30 pm Los Angeles time.
Most actors, many of whom are traditional progressives or liberals, appear to have testy relationships and negative opinions of Trump, who considers Hollywood part of the privileged and corrupt sector of the US.
Many film stars and other entertainers, in addition, threw themselves into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and have harshly criticised the measures Trump has taken during his first month in office.
At the Golden Globe Awards in early January, actress Meryl Streep set the tone for that ceremony with an impassioned speech defending foreigners, artistic creation and the free press.
The 89th edition of the Academy Awards promises to be very politicised, but what is not yet clear is how Trump will respond.