The Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to rescind two high-profile awards it has given to comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted on three counts of sexual assault on April 26.
Cosby received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998 for lifetime achievement in the performing arts. In 2009, he was the 12th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
This is the first time the national arts center has rescinded an award.
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"The Honors and Mark Twain Prize are given to artists who, through their lifetime of work, have left an indelible impact on American culture. As a result of Mr. Cosby's recent criminal conviction, the Board concluded that his actions have overshadowed the very career accomplishments these distinctions from the Kennedy Center intend to recognize," the arts center said in a statement.
The arts center launched the nationally-televised Kennedy Center Honors in 1978 and the Mark Twain Prize in 1998.