Donald Trump has resigned from the Screen Actors Guild (Sag-Aftra), the union for US performers on film and TV, as the union’s leadership began moves to expel him.
In a letter dated 4 February 2020 addressed to Gabrielle Carteris, the union’s national president, Trump said: “I write to you today regarding the so-called Disciplinary Committee hearing aimed at revoking my union membership. Who cares!”
Citing his appearances in Home Alone 2, Zoolander, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and the TV show The Apprentice, Trump added: “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.”
After claiming the union “has done little for its members, and nothing for me”, Trump finished his letter saying: “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.”
The union responded with a two-word statement: “Thank you.”
Trump’s move follows an announcement by Sag-Aftra in January that Trump was being referred to a disciplinary committee after the Capitol breach and what the union described as “a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are Sag-Aftra members”.
Carteris said at the time: “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. There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”
According to financial reports disclosed in 2020, Trump currently earns a pension of over $98,000 for work on union-covered projects, which would not be affected by his leaving.