Every member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) resigned Friday over President Donald Trump’s response to the violent Charlottesville, Virginia, protests, former committee member and actor Kal Penn announced Friday.
“All members have now resigned. Per @politico, PCAH is an official agency, that makes this the 1st White House department to resign,” wrote Penn of the 17 members, which included playwright George C. Wolfe.
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 18, 2017
“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” read the group’s letter to President Trump. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”
“Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values,” the letter said. “Your values are not American values.”
In a statement, the White House said that the president had planned to disband the committee anyway.
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 18, 2017
“While the committee has done good work in the past, in its current form it simply is not a responsible way to spend American tax dollars,” the statement read.
During a press conference in New York City Tuesday, President Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville.
“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” Trump said before calling the man who rammed a car into counter-protesters and killed a woman a “disgrace,” and a horrible “murderer.”
The Reagan-era arts council pulls support from Hollywood and Broadway and works with the National Endowment for the Arts to raise money to help expand the arts in schools and communities.
First Lady Melania Trump is the panel’s honorary chairwoman.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson