All but one of the 17 private members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities on Friday sent President Donald Trump a letter of resignation after the president’s response to violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
According to the group’s resignation letter, Trump failed to condemn white supremacist groups in Charlottesville “quickly and unequivocally,” a decision the group cannot stand by.
“Elevating any group that threatens and discriminates on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, orientation, background, or identity is un-American,” the letter said. “We have fought slavery, segregation, and internment. We must learn from our rich and often painful history.”
The group, which comprised prominent Broadway, Hollywood and other arts figures, claims the arts and humanities are based on the idea of inclusion, which Trump has actively worked against. They cite a number of the Trump Administration’s policies that they disagree with, including banning transgenders in the military, pulling out of the Paris climate change Agreement and a budget that eliminates the arts and culture agencies.
Kal Penn, who is most known for his role in “Harold & Kumar,” tweeted out the resignation letter for all to see:
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 18, 2017
Producer Eric Ortner was the only member of the resigning committee who shared a comment on social media. Other members retweeted Penn’s original tweet with the letter.
There was no good part of this for us other than being on the right side of history
— Eric Ortner (@eortner) August 18, 2017
Soledad O’Brien, the host of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien” noticed an encrypted message in the letter:
Melania Trump is the Honorary Chair of group resigning bc of the President's actions. Note: the first letter of each paragraph spells RESIST https://t.co/inQh5Gda9b
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) August 18, 2017
Playwright and theater director George C. Wolfe was the lone member who didn’t resign.