Tom Hanks Hosting Star-Studded Biden Inauguration Special

Actor Tom Hanks speaks onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 27, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Tom Hanks, who endorsed Joe Biden’s bid for the presidency, is set to host a celebrity-packed inauguration telecast titled “Celebrating America” that the major networks and other outlets will broadcast on primetime January 20.

A slew of pop stars are set to perform on the TV special, which will air on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as CNN and MSNBC. They include Biden supporters Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, and Ant Clemons.

The “Celebrating America”  telecast is expected to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET on January 20 and last for 90 minutes. Biden is set to be sworn in earlier in the day at noon ET. It remains unclear how prominently the 78-year-old  politician will feature in the primetime telecast and how producers will adhere to COVID-19 social distancing and mask recommendations.

Tom Hanks backed Joe Biden’s campaign last year, appearing during a virtual fundraiser for the candidate in August. The two-time Oscar winner also supported Michelle Obama’s vote-by-mail push, lending his presence to an Obama-backed online voter registration drive in April that was billed as “non-partisan.”

The primetime telecast will also be seen on Amazon Prime Video as well as AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse, according to reports in multiple outlets.

The Biden-Harris Inauguration Committee announced earlier this week that the theme of the inauguration will be “America United.”

“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” the committee said.

In recent days, however, Biden has made statements and taken action that have only stoked more division.

He compared Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to Nazi propaganda leader Joseph Goebbels and announced that the government will prioritize ethnic minority-owned small businesses in handing out coronavirus relief money.

Biden also pledged that he will work to “defeat the NRA.”

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