Facing expulsion from SAG-AFTRA, Donald Trump resigned his membership from the union Thursday, to which SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White responded with two words: “Thank you.”
SAG-AFTRA’s national board, meeting in special session last month, found “probable cause” that Trump, who has been a member for over 30 years, had “violated the union’s Constitution,” and ordered the matter to be heard by SAG-AFTRA’s Disciplinary Committee. If found guilty by the committee, he could have been kicked out of the union. The charges cite the now-former U.S. President’s role in inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and his “sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members.”
In his letter of resignation today (read it in full here) addressed to Carteris, Trump said: “I write to you today regarding the so-called Disciplinary Committee hearing aimed at revoking my union membership. Who cares!”
“While I’m not familiar with your work,” he continued, “I’m very proud of my work on movies such as Home Alone 2, Zoolander and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; and television shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saturday Night Live, and of course, one of the most successful shows in television history, The Apprentice – to name just a few!
“I’ve also greatly helped the cable news television business (said to be a dying platform with not much time left until I got involved in politics), and created thousands of jobs at networks such as MSDNC and Fake News CNN, among many others.
“Which brings me to your 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’s claim that the union has “done nothing for me” is belied by the fact that he receives nearly $100,000 a year in SAG-AFTRA pensions. According to a financial disclosure report he filed in August, he receives a $90,776 pension for the acting work he performed on SAG-covered shows and an $8,724 pension for his AFTRA-covered work.
His letter comes the same day that Trump was formally asked by House impeachment officers to testify next week at his second impeachment trial, which moved forward in the wake of the January 6 insurrection.
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