UPDATED 1/06/2018 12:41 p.m. ET: Daniel Van Thomas issued a statement to Complex in response to the news of his recent name change.
"My name change was fully intended to be a private matter," he said. "The statements originally obtained by TMZ and quoted by the author come from my court filing documents, which require the applicant to provide reasons for the change. While these court documents are publicly accessible, I never fathomed that they'd be viewed by anyone other than myself, court clerks, and the judge.
"As I've not used my birth name in many years, my career has been completely unaffected by Donald Trump. Ironically, it is only the unwelcome surprise of my name change being deemed newsworthy that has caused me any sort of career stress at all, as its newsworthiness occurs in direct opposition to my desire for privacy."
See below for original story published on 1/04/2018.
What's in a name? When you share one with someone with the capacity to harm your career - it's everything. As one might imagine, it's not the best time in history to have the last name Trump no matter what you do for a living. Actor and filmmaker Daniel Thomas Trump is certain that his surname is making it tougher for him to find gigs - likely due to the assumption that he's related to the President.
To clear his name, so to speak, he's taking steps to legally change his moniker to something a bit less polarizing - calling the name a "shameful embarrassment" and one that is attached to someone who is the "living representation of everything I stand against." With voiceover, acting, and production credits in lesser-known titles like Alien Rising and Revelation Trail, Daniel is still in the beginning stages of his career and worries the association will hamper his ability to go further.
Though the 32-year-old actor has been going by Daniel Van Thomas professionally for nearly a decade, his request is a bid to separate his name in all facets of his life. Along with some of the other nearly 5,000 people who share the last name, the actor wants to keep as far as possible from the famous figure. In filed documents obtained by TMZ, Daniel mentions the source of the name, his father, as part of the reason for the change, stating he was never involved in his life. But it's pretty clear that the President is likely an even bigger reason behind the change request.
While the actor's namesake sets the date for the very important Fake News Awards, the rest of the world is finding ways to steer clear.