October 19, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

SAG-AFTRA votes to bar Trump from re-joining Hollywood union

After Donald Trump pre-emptively quit the union last week, SAG-AFTRA slammed the door behind him on Sunday.

The national board of Hollywood’s biggest union voted to deny the former president potential to rejoin the union, it said in a statement Sunday. Five board members, including broadcast journalists, abstained from the vote Sunday, which took place via via video conference. The decision was made after Trump resigned from the union before hearings over disciplinary charges against the “Apprentice” star could be heard.

Trump on Thursday departed the union in an insult-filled missive that lauded his own work in the entertainment industry. In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, a SAG-AFTRA disciplinary committee had been due on Friday to weigh Trump’s expulsion from the union for inciting attacks against reporters.

“Preventing Donald Trump from ever rejoining SAG-AFTRA is more than a symbolic step,” union president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. “It is a resounding statement that threatening or inciting harm against fellow members will not be tolerated.”

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

Despite his exclusion from the union, federal laws protect Trump’s access to a pension from the union and do not stop him from working on SAG-AFTRA productions.

In his letter, Trump criticized the union, which represents some 160,000 performers, actors and broadcast journalists, for policy violations and what he described as “egregious” disciplinary failures, without detailing them. “Who cares!” he wrote.

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