Watch: White House Medal of Freedom mannequin challenge

Look what @RitaWilson #Ellen and I got everyone to do! I’m in the pink dress laughing with Rita! It’s the #MannequinChallenge, Presidential Medal of Freedom Edition at the @WhiteHouse!! Starring #RobertDeNiro, @RitaWilson, @TheEllenShow, @KareemAbdulJabbar_33, @TomHanks, #BillGates, #MichaelJordan, @FrankGehry, my mama #DianaRoss, and more!

A video posted by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on


President Barack Obama gave out his last civilian awards to huge names in Hollywood, sports, philanthropy and more. He awarded 21 individuals with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural endeavors on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The medal is the highest honor a civilian can receive.

President Obama explained that the awards are given to Americans who have “lifted our spirits, strengthened our union and pushed us toward progress.”


“I always love doing this event. But this is a particularly impressive class. We’ve got innovators and artists, public servants, rabble rousers, athletes, renowned character actors – like the guy from Space Jam,’ Obama said, referring to fellow Chicagoan Michael Jordan.

In an official statement, President Obama says, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor — it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross gets the recipients together, which included her legendary mother, Diana Ross, for the #MannequinChallenge.

See the list of awardees in alphabetical order by last name below:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Elouise Cobell
Ellen DeGeneres
Robert De Niro
Richard Garwin
Bill and Melinda Gates
Frank Gehry
Margaret H. Hamilton
Tom Hanks
Grace Hopper
Michael Jordan
Maya Lin
Lorne Michaels
Newt Minow
Eduardo Padrón
Robert Redford
Diana Ross
Vin Scully
Bruce Springsteen
Cicely Tyson

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