Three major Hollywood guilds — the DGA, WGA, and SAG-AFTRA — released a joint statement Thursday in response to the release of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which calls for the defunding of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“As a source of inspiration, action and economic growth our country’s creative arts are integral to our culture, our American identity and our democracy,” read the statement. “Access to the arts has fueled generations of great Americans, uplifted communities and helped heal our nation’s greatest divides. Cutting federal support of these programs will not only hurt artists and those who benefit from their work, it will also send a damaging message to future generations about the power of art and its place in our culture.”
The Corporation of Public Broadcasting currently has a budget of $445 million, while the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities each have a budget of $148 million. Combined, they comprise less than 0.02 percent of the $4.6 trillion federal budget.
Hollywood stars have also spoken out against the proposed cuts, with actor Mark Ruffalo denouncing it as “ripped from [Steve] Bannon’s nationalistic playbook” and Julie Andrews calling it “mind-boggling” in an open letter published on CNN. CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison called for the preservation of her organization in a statement published this morning.
“There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services,” Harrison wrote.
“The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions – all for Americans in both rural and urban communities.”