Actor Kal Penn, President's entire arts council resigns over Charlottesville comments

Actor Kal Penn, President's entire arts council resigns over Charlottesville comments
Posted at 12:08 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 15:27:24-04

(KGTV) - Actor Kal Penn and the remaining members of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) have resigned following President Donald Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Va.

Penn tweeted out the letter of resignation on behalf of himself and 15 other members Friday, citing "false equivalencies" and the Trump Administration's "refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn" white nationalist groups involved in the violence that erupted in Virginia on Aug. 12.

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"Elevating any group that threatens and discriminates on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, orientation, background, or identity is un-America," the resignation letter read.

The letter went on to say, "Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President. But it is our role commissioners on the PCAH to do so. Art is about inclusion. The Humanities include a vibrant free press. You have attacked both."

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Later Friday, Penn posted again saying "all members have now resigned" from PCAH.

"Per [Politico], PCAH is an official agency, that makes this the 1st White House department to resign," Penn wrote.

"Your values are not American values. 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 finished.

RELATED: Trump disbands councils after business leaders flee

PCAH's members are not the first to leave their White House posts following Trump's comments that "both sides" are responsible for the violent events in Virginia last week, which left one woman dead and several others injured.

President Trump disbanded two businesses councils - his manufacturing council, and strategic and policy forum - after multiple CEOs chose to leave over the president's comments.