Trump resigns from SAG-AFTRA and delivers a parting shot

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris arrives at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

Donald Trump resigned from SAG-AFTRA and lashed out the performers’ union after it revealed plans last month to expel him.

“Who cares!” Trump said in his letter, released Thursday, to what he described as the “so-called” union.

Addressing the president of Hollywood’s biggest union, Gabrielle Carteris, the former president used his familiar brusque style to dismiss her, saying he wasn’t familiar with the work of the “Beverly Hills, 90210” TV star.

He touted his cameo appearances in “Home Alone 2” and “Zoolander” as well as “The Apprentice” reality TV show for which he was best known before his presidency.


In response, the union released a two-word statement: “Thank you.”

Trump, who previously hosted reality TV show ‘The Apprentice,’ faces expulsion from membership in SAG-AFTRA after the mob riot in the Capitol.

Jan. 19, 2021

Trump revealed his resignation to his favored news network Fox News, which claimed the exclusive and itself has faced ratings pressure since he lost the election.

The ex-president’s resignation comes ahead of a series of hearings that were likely to end in his expulsion from the union in wake of the insurrection at the Capitol last month and the attacks Trump stoked against members of the media, many which SAG-AFTRA represents.

“I no longer wish to be associated with your union,” Trump wrote.

In his letter, Trump criticized the union, which represents some 160,000 performers, actors and broadcast journalists, for both policy violations and what he described as “egregious” disciplinary failures without detailing them. He also once again pilloried news networks CNN and MSNBC, while also taking credit for creating “thousands of jobs” and a resurgence in cable news as the result of his involvement in politics.

“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?”

Trump was apparently referring to a lawsuit against the union’s health plan and its board of trustees, and the quote comes from a video recorded by A-list actors who have been fighting for better health care coverage under the union.


Besides his work on “The Apprentice” reality TV series, Trump has a smattering of screen credits dating to the late 1980s, mainly for appearing as himself in shows like “Sex and the City” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Even if expelled, Trump wouldn’t lose the pension linked to his membership and he can continue to work on SAG-AFTRA organized productions.

Last month the national board of SAG-AFTRA voted to find “probable cause” that Trump violated its constitution, a step that could have led to his removal from its membership.

Trump’s resignation comes a day before a disciplinary committee would have heard charges brought by SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White at the request of Carteris, citing Trump’s incitement of the deadly riot at the Capitol and for his continued verbal attacks on journalists.

During the riot, the words “murder the press” were written on doors to the Capitol building and news crews from the Associated Press were attacked and their equipment destroyed by members of the mob.

Here’s the complete list of Screen Actors Guild Award nominees, including multiple nods for Chadwick Boseman, ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘Minari,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘The Crown,’ ‘Ozark.’

Feb. 4, 2021