One of the most vocal Donald Trump opponents in Congress is calling on the heads of Comcast and NBC Universal to “disinvite” the Republican presidential frontrunner from his planned Saturday Night Live hosting appearance in November.
According to Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), allowing Trump — who has come under fire for his comments about illegal immigrants — to host SNL is a step too far.
“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,” Gutiérrez wrote in a letter Tuesday to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke.
Gutiérrez highlighted Trump’s early, controversial statements about illegal immigrants which lead to some businesses dropping their affiliations with Trump, including NBC.
“The reaction in July from NBC was swift and clear: ‘Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.’ And NBC said, ‘Respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.’ Serta, Macy’s, NASCAR, Univision, and ESPN were among the others that also acted to dump Trump” he wrote.
The Illinois Democrat continued saying allowing Trump to host SNL would be 90 minutes of “free network airtime” for his campaign.
“I think I speak for a lot of Americans, especially immigrant Americans and Latino Americans, when I say that if SNL is allowed to proceed, it would be a huge corporate blunder,” he added.
According to Gutiérrez, during the attempted Comcast, Time Warner merger, he and other Congressional Hispanic Caucus members “heard from you about your commitment to the Latino community and the level of corporate responsibility you pledged to your diverse audience.”
“I certainly hope that your commitment to “respect and dignity for all people” was not some hollow promise and is in fact a cornerstone of your values,” he wrote.
With that in mind, Gutiérrez urged that SNL “dump Trump.”
“Make a statement: Derogatory statements of the nature trumpeted by Trump about any group disqualifies someone from hosting shows on your network,” he wrote. “Send a message that racism is not funny and that responsibility to your viewers and the public is more important than ratings. It is a chance for your company – again – to show you are committed to your audience in more ways than just the ad revenues they provide you,” he concluded.