Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser said Friday that he regretted using “strong language” during a tense telephone conversation last week with Felix Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, when the two men were discussing the lack of Latino artists among the Kennedy Center Honors recipients.
On Friday, Sanchez repeated his assertion — widely quoted this week in media reports — that during their Sept. 14 conversation, Kaiser said to Sanchez: “F--- yourself.”
Sanchez said to The Post that he was “exasperated” during the conversation. He said he was expressing to Kaiser his concern that Latinos had been once again shut out when the 2012 Honors were announced last week. “Just the act of challenging his decision making brought out his ire in which he used profanity,” Sanchez said.
Kaiser declined to state what words were exchanged, but he did not retreat from what he said were his strong feelings in response to Sanchez’s criticism.