Members of White House presidential arts commission resigning to protest Trump’s comments

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Trump’s Arts and Humanities council resigns, calls for him to do the same

Other committees resigned earlier this week.


Andrew Wyrich

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Posted on Aug 18, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:09 pm CDT

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned in protest on Friday.

The group other members of President Donald Trump’s advisory councils who are walking away from the administration following its much-criticized response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.

“We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” the group’s resignation letter reads.

The Arts and Humanities committee’s letter ends by calling on Trump to resign from office if he doesn’t find it clear that “supremacy, discrimination and vitriol” are not American values.

Those resigning from the council include actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and Viki Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy.

“We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too,” the letter reads.

The resignation of the those on the Arts and Humanities Council mirrors what occurred earlier this week when several members of Trump’s Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum began resigning in protest over his response to Charlottesville. As people began resigning, Trump dissolved both councils and announced his decision in a tweet.

Besides Charlottesville, the former Arts and Humanities council members said they disagreed with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, the president’s stance on transgender military service members, the much-criticized travel ban, and attacking the free press.

“Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President,” the letter reads. “But it is our role as commissioners on the PCAH to do so. … Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.”

The Arts and Humanities committee was established in 1982 and advises the president on business matters, education policy, and other issues, the Washington Post reports. The members on the commission were holdovers from former President Barack Obama’s administration.

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*First Published: Aug 18, 2017, 10:16 am CDT