Donald Trump, a reality TV star on “The Apprentice” prior to his election as president, resigned his membership Thursday in the SAG-AFTRA actors union, blasting the organization’s “dismal record” and doing “nothing for me.”
The union was moving to possibly expel him over allegations of endangering the lives of broadcast journalists and inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In a terse letter peppered with condescension, Trump responded to the union’s pending disciplinary action by writing, “Who cares!” He called the action a “blatant attempt at free media attention to distract from your dismal record as a union.”
“Your organization has done little for its members, and nothing for me — besides collecting dues and promoting dangerous un-American policies and ideas — as evident by your massive unemployment rates and lawsuits from celebrated actors, who even recorded a video asking, `Why isn’t the union fighting for me?’
“These, however, are policy failures. Your disciplinary failures are even more egregious. I no longer wish to be associated with your union. As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA. You have done nothing for me.”
Trump proclaims in the letter that he is “very proud of my work” in films such as “Home Alone 2,” “Zoolander” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” and television shows including “The Apprentice.”
The union, responding to Trump’s resignation, issued a statement saying simply, “Thank you.”
The SAG-AFTRA National Board last month found probable cause that Trump violated the union’s constitution, and directed its Disciplinary Committee to review charges that Trump incited the Jan. 6 insurrection, and also that he engaged in a sustained misinformation campaign to discredit and ultimately threaten the safety of journalists, many of whom are union members.
“Donald Trump attacked the values that this union holds most sacred — democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said last month. “There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”
If the Disciplinary Committee had upheld the charges, Trump could have faced penalties including a reprimand, censure, fines, suspension or expulsion from the union.
Union National Executive Director David White said Trump’s “words and actions over the past four years have presented actual harm to our broadcast journalist members.”
SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals.
Trump has denied inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, an insurrection carried out by Trump supporters following a Washington, D.C., rally.
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