Watch Jon Voight’s awkward moment with Trump at arts medal ceremony

Jon Voight dances as President Donald Trump looks on
Jon Voight dances as President Trump looks on during Thursday’s National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony at the White House.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

An impromptu dance break from actor and vocal Trump supporter Jon Voight made for a cringe-worthy interlude during Thursday’s National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony at the White House.

As President Trump prepared to announce the honorees — including Voight, bestselling author James Patterson, bluegrass musician Alison Krauss and others — his speech was awkwardly and abruptly interrupted by a harmonica solo from the soundtrack of Voight’s Oscar-winning film “Midnight Cowboy.”

Even more awkward was the movie star’s subsequent move to rise from his chair and sashay across the stage as Trump smiled and shook a fist of approval.


The moment occurs around the five-minute mark in the video below.

The tune continued to play as attendees sat silently until Trump returned to the podium, saying, “I want to hear that whole song, but I don’t know, Jon, maybe we’ve got to get it moving a little bit, but what a great movie. You’ve made some of the greatest movies of all time.”

A second uncomfortable interaction between the pair occurred when the president finally presented Voight with his medal. Immediately after Trump bestowed the honor, Voight went in for a handshake — but the commander in chief left his recipient hanging, instead opting to adjust his suit. Trump later initiated a successful handshake with Voight before the “Ray Donovan” star took his seat.

Throughout the ceremony, the president listed each of the honorees’ accomplishments one by one before presenting them with their awards. Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania Trump also attended the celebration, which marks the first time Trump has awarded the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal since his term began.