In a speech on the House floor earlier today, Rep, Luis Gutiérrez followed up on the open letter he sent to the Presidents of Comcast and NBC Universal demanding they “disinvite” Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump from SNL hosting duties next month.
“To put Donald Trump on the air in American living rooms on the signature comedy show of one of the most important national networks – after saying that Mexicans are rapists, drug-dealers and criminals – that is a corporate blunder too big to be ignored,” Rep. Gutiérrez told the TV executives.
Rep. Gutiérrez noted that, after significant public pressure from the Latino and immigrant communities, NBC dumped Trump’s programming within weeks of his racist remarks last summer about Mexican immigrants, saying in a statement that “respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of [NBC] values.”
But in a 180, NBC executives now appear willing to help mainstream Trump’s vile bigotry and racism by inviting him to host Saturday Night Live. It’s a complete rebuke of their previous statement in support of the Latino and immigrant communities — and all in the name of ratings:
“What happened, Comcast, Universal, and NBC? Now, three months later, have Donald Trump’s words been expunged? Did I miss an apology on one of his almost nightly TV appearances? Has he confessed his racist and hateful call to action?
Well, NBC…installing Trump as SNL host may be good for ratings, but it is a bigger deal than a cameo or a Tonight Show guest shot.
And I’m calling you out.
As Rep. Gutiérrez noted in his letter yesterday, the Latino and immigrant communities have been swift in slamming NBC’s cheap stunt, saying “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.”
Already, a MoveOn petition from America’s Voice demanding NBC and SNL dump Trump has garnered nearly 140,000 signatures.
Rep. Gutiérrez continues:
What if all of the Latino cast members all walked off the job?
Oh wait, you don’t have any Latino cast members currently.
I do seem to remember Comcast spending a lot of time on Capitol Hill when they had a merger deal with Time Warner and they wanted support from Members of Congress.
Comcast said Latinos were so important to them and they had plans to do this, that and the other thing to support the Latino and immigrant community.
What happened? The merger didn’t go through so you no longer feel that sense of corporate responsibility to 55 million Latinos. Giving free air time to people who insult and malign them is now part of your business model?
At the end of his speech, Rep. Gutiérrez pulled out a photograph of SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who is himself a Canadian immigrant.
“I wonder if things might have been different if Donald Trump was calling all Canadians rapists, murderers and drug dealers.”
It’s a must-watch. Rep. Gutiérrez’s speech calling on NBC and SNL to dump Trump is available to watch in its entirety below (full text available here).