Former president Donald Trump on Thursday resigned from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA, ahead of a union disciplinary hearing scheduled for later this week where his expulsion was on the table. The early exit, first reported by Fox News, came after the actors union announced last month that its national board had voted “overwhelmingly” to find probable cause that Trump had violated SAG-AFTRA’s constitution in inciting the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and “sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members.” A disciplinary committee was reportedly set to convene this week to hear the charges requesting Trump’s expulsion — the most severe penalty available, and one SAG-AFTRA has not invoked since its merger nearly a decade ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Other, lesser penalties include censure and fines.
However, Trump rendered that hearing moot by resigning on Thursday afternoon, but not before blasting the group, which represents some 160,000 performers and media professionals, and airing his accomplishments. “While I’m not familiar with your work,” he wrote to SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, “I’m very proud of my work on movies such as Home Alone 2, Zoolander and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” as well as “of course, one of the most successful shows in television history, The Apprentice.”
The union appeared to embrace Trump’s preemptive exit: “Thank you,” the organization responded in a two-word statement.
Trump’s 2019 financial forms reportedly indicated that he brought in as much as $1.7 million that year from his Hollywood work, including a $77,808 SAG pension, a plan he joined in 1992, and $8,724 AFTRA pension, a plan he joined in 1989.
Read Trump’s characteristically humble resignation letter below.