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In a special session on Jan. 19, SAG-AFTRA’s National Board voted overwhelmingly to find probable cause of a violation of SAG-AFTRA’s Constitution by member and former President 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 Jan. 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,” Carteris said. “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,” White added. “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.
For information, visit sagaftra.org.
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