When Donald Trump hosts Saturday Night Live on November 7, NBC might well end up toasting a ratings windfall for the iconic sketch television show. But if some prominent voices have their way, the GOP frontrunner will see his guest host spot scrapped without even so much as setting foot inside Studio 8H at 30 Rock.
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat from the fourth congressional district of Illinois recently joined a growing contingent of people who are demanding that NBC rescind the invitation for Trump to host SNL. According to The Wrap, the legislator sent a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Stephen Burke, president and CEO of NBC Universal, on Tuesday in which he expressed his objections to the controversial casting of Trump. His correspondence suggests that allowing the show to go on as scheduled would constitute a “huge corporate blunder.”
“Having Donald Trump as a guest on every news and entertainment program is one thing, but allowing him to host Saturday Night Live is another … It is a level of endorsement that says to America that every hateful and racist thing Donald Trump has said since the moment he launched his campaign is acceptable and no big deal.”
Comedienne Margaret Cho also blasted NBC for cozying up to Donald Trump, describing him as “a known racist” and “a known sexist,” according to Business Insider. It’s worth noting that the aforementioned comments were among the less controversial assertions made by Cho about Trump.
“We are appalled that you would enable Trump’s hateful speech for nothing [more] than a ratings ploy and ask that you rescind the SNL invitation.”
It’s an interesting and somewhat contradictory pickle for NBC, who has been embroiled in its own public feud with Donald Trump since the Republican hopeful launched his presidential campaign earlier this year. The network cut ties with Trump after he made a number of disparaging comments about Mexicans in the early days and weeks of his candidacy. Spanish-language network Univision is fighting a $500 million suit from Trump over its decision to drop coverage of the his Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants and the billionaire-turned-candidate has threatened similar legal action against NBC on more than one occasion.
.@CNBC has just agreed that the debate will be TWO HOURS. Fantastic news for all, especially the millions of people who will be watching!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2015
With so much hostility between Trump and NBC Universal, it is an uncanny situation that the two entities might well make nice for the sake of a hit-or-miss sketch comedy event like SNL. But Donald Trump, much like the corporate bosses of the silver screen, obviously sees great potential in an ostensibly uneasy peace. It’s a big gamble for NBC, who could reap big short-term gains from a ratings spike, but ultimately lose viewers and advertisers if their decision to showcase Trump results in sustained and protracted backlash. But for Donald Trump, he gets a free chance to woo large numbers of prospective voters who might otherwise find his political views objectionable. In that respect, Donald Trump can’t lose this time around—that is, unless, his foray into the world of comedy goes as badly as his one-time venture into the luxury meat industry.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]