UPDATED with more statements: A growing chorus of entertainment industry union leaders is condemning Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump – and the politicians who incited the violence.
“It took three years, 50 weeks and four dead at the Capitol for far too few Republicans to abandon him. Trump didn’t destroy their party — they did,” tweeted WGA East president Beau Willimon, who also called for Trump to be impeached for a second time. “For those who think, ‘Only two weeks left, why impeach?’ — consider this: Would you be comfortable with a deranged and violent amateur piloting the plane you’re on for even 30 seconds? And, don’t you want to send a message that we will never allow such a pilot at the yoke again?”
In a statement Friday, the WGA East said:
“Incited by the outgoing President, an angry mob of far-right extremists invaded our nation’s Capitol this week with the express purpose of preventing Congress from certifying the results of the Presidential election,” the guild said in a statement today. “Many WGAE members have written about the dangers of hateful rhetoric and of vilifying people because of their race or gender, religion or political philosophy. Our members’ warnings proved true with this violent insurrection.
“We condemn this organized, pre-meditated attempt to thwart the will of the American electorate. We condemn those who participated directly and those who stoked the ugly flames of bigotry and delusion through their speeches, tweets and statements to the press.
“As a union, we understand political passion and dissent. We understand mobilization and protest. That is not what happened in D.C. this week. It was a racist, authoritarian coup attempt, wrapped in the flags of the outgoing President and of the Confederate states whose mission was to preserve enslavement.
“If the nation is to move forward, we must be unequivocal in our opposition to the anti-democratic, far-right demagoguery and the violence that inevitably follows. We look forward to working with elected officials who are committed to the rights of working people and to amplifying the voices of the oppressed. There is much work to do. Let us recommit to it.”
In a statement today, Actors’ Equity said: “What happened yesterday in Washington, D.C., was shocking and unacceptable. For hours, a nation watched white supremacy on display in an illegal attempt to overturn the will of the people and disenfranchise millions of voters in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and around the nation.”
“There must be consequences and there must be accountability, not just for those who recklessly stormed the Capitol and disrupted the transition, but for the politicians who have shamefully incited this behavior with a steady stream of disinformation and hate,” the trade group said. “Actors’ Equity was proud to endorse and support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 election. Never has their work been more important. We look forward to having a president who will uphold his oath of office.”
IATSE international president Matthew Loeb said in a statement:
“When pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. today, we watched one of the most egregious assaults on our Democracy in American history. This is unacceptable in America, and we can never allow it to happen again.
“Make no mistake, the people who incited this radical terrorist attack, including those within our own government, are culpable in their propagation of criminal acts and must be held accountable.
“And lest we forget the politicians who, by malice or ignorance, enabled this behavior by acting as Donald Trump’s personal lapdogs over the last four years. To those who stood back and stood by while propagandists attempted to poison our republic: Your remarkable and embarrassing display of spinelessness will not be forgotten. But right now it is of the utmost possible urgency to do the right thing and ensure a peaceful transition of power in this unprecedented moment.
“The American people deserve better because they voted for it. Real American leadership will be restored when Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20th. The will of the people is sacred, and no transgressor will deny it.”
SAG-AFTRA released this statement today:
SAG-AFTRA condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s attack on America’s foundational principles. Rioters, emboldened and encouraged by a sitting president and his enablers who have peddled baseless conspiracy theories, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to subvert democracy.
As a union and a democratic organization, we are appalled by this attack on the values we hold most sacred. The disgraceful scenes coming out of the nation’s capital have undermined America’s institutions and its standing in the world. Displays of the Confederate flag and other symbols of white supremacy and hate were meant to subjugate and terrorize people of color and those of certain faiths. This poison attacks the diverse membership of our union and the labor movement.
Yesterday’s attack was an inevitable result of sustained misinformation campaigns that attempt to discredit journalists while weaving a counter-narrative based on falsehoods. Our members include broadcast journalists, who have been increasingly targeted by extremists who feel threatened by the facts. The number of attacks on journalists has spiked in the last year, and members of yesterday’s mob attacked broadcast journalists and destroyed cameras and other equipment, and left graffiti on a Capitol door reading “Murder the Media,” leaving no question where they stand.
The reckless rhetoric by some leaders — including many members of Congress who continued to perpetuate lies even after the attack — is damaging the fabric of our nation and costing lives.
SAG-AFTRA is nonpartisan, representing members of all political views, but we cannot be silent as an angry, violent group attempts to rob the American people of their right to self-governance. We denounce this attempted insurrection and all who support it.
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