Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj is set to perform at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner for the second time in four years. Minhaj, a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will feature as an entertainer at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), scheduled to be held on April 25, 2020.
In 2017, Minhaj performed at the annual awards gala where he roasted the US President in his around 25-minute-long performance. The 34-year-old comedian has claimed in the past that he was barred from entering the ‘Howdy Modi’ event which was held in Houston, last year, where Prime Minister Modi and President Trump was present.
Minhaj, originally from Uttar Pradesh, has worked as a senior correspondent on The Daily Show and has been hosting Netflix show Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj. He examines serious domestic as well as global issues in a humorous manner and gained much traction in India after his show on Indian elections.
Emmy Award-winning actor Kenan Thompson will host the event which is also touted as a celebration of a free press.
“Kenan and Hasan are two of the most engaged and engaging entertainers in America. I’m thrilled they’ll help us celebrate the role of a free press in our democracy,” said Jonathan Karl, president of the WHCA, in a statement.
“We’re looking forward to a lively evening honouring the most important political journalism of the past year,” he added.
Breaking away from decades of presidential tradition, Trump has not attended any of the annual WHCA dinners to show his disapproval of the US media and their coverage. While US President attending the event seems highly unlikely, Minhaj posted a sarcastic tweet, aimed at Trump, after the line-up for 2020 WHCD was announced.
Guys...look at the lineup. He’s definitely coming this year. pic.twitter.com/gxBQI9fw5D— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) February 18, 2020
The WHCA has introduced two new awards, the Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists, for the annual event.