NBC will not reschedule a town hall-style event in which President Donald Trump will take questions from voters, despite the exact same thing happening with Joe Biden in the same time slot on another network, The Wrap reported.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, NBC sparked controversy this week when it announced that it would broadcast a question-and-answer session between the president and the American people on Thursday, September 15, at 8 p.m. ET. A similar event with Trump’s adversary, Joe Biden, was previously scheduled at the exact same time on ABC.
Both events are taking place on the night that would have otherwise been the day of the second of three presidential debates. It was canceled after the format was switched to a virtual meeting, and Trump refused to participate.
The phrase #BoycottNBC trended on social media after the announcement, with angry users complaining about the network giving Trump air time after he backed out of the debate, and specifically, that it was scheduled directly against Biden’s.
In a statement, Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, said that he understands the concerns of viewers.
“We share in the frustration that our event will initially air alongside the first half of ABC’s broadcast with Vice President Biden,” the statement begins.
Conde went on to reject suggestions that NBC acted out of business interests in scheduling the Trump town hall at the same time as the Biden event.
“Our decision is motivated only by fairness, not business considerations,” he said.
He went on to explain that NBC had given Biden time earlier this month, and that to fail to give the president the same courtesy would be unfair, further adding that moving the program to an earlier or later time would not work.
“We aired a town hall with Vice President Biden on October 5 at 8pm. If we were to move our town hall with President Trump to a later timeslot we would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum,” he said.
He concluded by urging viewers to watch both events, noting that NBC’s streaming options will leave plenty of opportunity for Americans to watch his network’s content.
“We hope voters will watch both discussions – ours will be available at any time,” he said, listing the various means by which NBC makes its news programs available, such as its Peacock app, YouTube, and on its affiliated news websites, all of which will provide video of the event free of charge.