The Disciplinary Committee of the Union were expected to meet this
week to decide whether or not the former TV reality star should have his membership revoked.
The SAG-AFTRA (US Actors Union) represents approximately 160,000 performers and media professionals across 25 locals in the United States who work in film and digital motion pictures, television programs, commercials, video games, corporate/educational and non-broadcast productions, new media, television and radio news outlets, as well as major label recording artists.
The Union had on January 19, 2021, through its President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White, filed disciplinary charges against the former President on his supposed role in the US
Capitol attack last month.
In a special session today, SAG-AFTRA’s National Board voted overwhelmingly to find probable cause of a violation of SAG-AFTRA’s Constitution by member Donald J. Trump, and ordered the matter to be heard by SAG-AFTRA’s Disciplinary Committee as required by the SAG-AFTRA Constitution. If found guilty by the committee, possible penalties include reprimand, censure, fines, suspension from the rights and privileges of membership, or expulsion from membership in SAG-AFTRA.
The board acted on charges initiated by National Executive Director David White at the request of President Gabrielle Carteris. The charges specifically cite Trump’s role in inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and in sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members. The charges request the imposition of the most severe penalty available to SAG-AFTRA: expulsion from membership.
“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,” said Carteris. “There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”
“Our most important role as a union is the protection of our members. The unfortunate truth is, this individual’s words and actions over the past four years have presented actual harm to our broadcast journalist members,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “The board’s resolution addresses this effort to undermine freedom of the press and reaffirms the principles on which our democratic society rests, and which we must all work to protect and preserve.”
In accordance with federal labor law and the SAG-AFTRA Constitution, disciplinary action can only be taken if the charged member is found guilty after a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee. Members of the Disciplinary Committee did not participate in the National Board’s constitutionally-mandated probable cause review. As charging parties, neither Carteris nor White will take any role in decision making on this disciplinary matter.
SAG-AFTRA represents thousands of broadcast journalists across the country, and reports of intimidation and physical assaults have escalated throughout Trump’s presidency.
Former President Trump turned in his resignation from the Union on Thursday, before the Disciplinary Committee could sit.
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, 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.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White released a statement, shortly after Trump’s resignation from the union.