Sylvester Stallone asked to head the National Endowment for the Arts
President-elect Donald Trump is set to select actor Sylvester Stallone for Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
“It has been widely and wrongly assumed that a Trump Presidency will be hostile to the arts,” a source told the Daily Mail, “but Mr. Trump feels this sort of A-list appointment is the shot in the arm that the industry needs.”
During the presidential campaign, the Trump team launched a web ad featuring an inspirational speech by Rocky Balboa from the Stallone-directed 2006 film Rocky.
Stallone told Variety at the time, “I love Donald Trump.”
Stallone compared Trump to a “great Dickensian character,” adding that “There are certain people like Arnold, Babe Ruth, that are bigger than life.”
The National Endowment for the Arts has huge grant-making ability and has sway over everything from funding museums and opera shows to promoting policies and programs.
The NEA is currently governed by artist Jane Chu, who heads the 14-member, president-appointed board. As of 2015, the agency commanded a $150 million budget.
–Jerome Hudson, Dec. 15, 2016
Sylvester Stallone later declined the offer, saying he would rather devote his time and energy to help veterans.
“I am incredibly flattered to have been suggested to be involved with the National; Endowment for the Arts. However, I believe I could be more effective by bringing national attention to returning military personnel in an effort to find gainful employment, suitable housing and financial assistance that these heroes respectfully deserve.”
While Stallone would have been a solid pick to lead the NEA given his decades long career in Hollywood, his dedication to America’s veterans speaks volumes about this character.