NBC is under fire after a really bad weekend, and one of the network’s biggest stars is speaking out about it. On Sunday night, NBC aired a controversial election ad approved by Donald Trump that focuses on the “migrant caravan” in Mexico, and it tied the current news to a criminal who received the death penalty for two high-profile murders in California in 2014.
The ad aired about two hours into NBC’s widely watched Sunday Night Football broadcast between the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots and just two days after CNN declined to air the “racist” spot, per the Hollywood Reporter.
The ad focuses on the “7,000-migrant caravan” crossing Mexico as it highlights Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of the 2014 murder of two sheriff deputies in California. It should be noted that Bracamontes has no known connection to the migrants currently making their way to the United States-Mexico border.
“Dangerous illegal criminals like cop killer Luis Bracamontes don’t care about our laws,” a voiceover announced in the ad.
The political ad concluded by urging voters to vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterm elections, with a voiceover saying, “America cannot allow this invasion. The migrant caravan must be stopped. President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe.”
NBC aired an immigration-themed advertisement, approved by President Trump, that CNN publicly declared to be racist and unfit for its network https://t.co/9nTZTSgFR2— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 5, 2018
Angry viewers immediately took to social media to slam NBC for airing the ad, with many calling it racist. One of the most vocal opponents of the controversial Trump-approved spot was NBC star Debra Messing, who blasted her network for showing the ad. Messing currently stars on the hit Will & Grace revival on NBC. After the ad aired, Messing took to Twitter to distance herself and her show from the spot.
“To our @willandgrace fans—I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad. It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about. @nbc.”
According to TV Line the ad, which cost $670,000 to air during Sunday Night Football, was rejected by CNN earlier in the week. In a tweet on Saturday, CNN’s communications team posted, “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”
Debra Messing is not the only big name to call out NBC for airing the political ad. TV and movie producer Judd Apatow posted a series of angry tweets aimed at NBC, which you can see below.
So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game. Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) November 5, 2018
In addition, former MSNBC anchor Greta Van Susteren tweeted disappointment at the broadcast giant after a weekend that also included Pete Davidson poking fun at GOP candidate Dan Crenshaw’s war combat wound during a live episode of Saturday Night Live.
“What a weekend @NBC has had,” Van Susteren tweeted. “First @msnbc takes a handicap spot w/ their truck at a polling place and now NBC show mocks a Navy Seal’s combat wound.”