NBC Chief Defends Donald Trump Appearances on ‘SNL,’ ‘Tonight Show’

TCA 2016: “I think that if we were in the business of never having anyone guest on the network who had views that disagreed with our views, we would be out of business,” Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt says

NBC doesn’t know how to quit Donald Trump.

Since a noisy parting of ways last summer, when NBC and Trump severed business relationships related to the Miss Universe pageants and “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the mogul and presidential candidate has appeared on the network on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show” and NBC News programming.

During a Television Critics Association Panel Wednesday, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt fielded multiple questions about the network’s relationship with Trump.

Asked at the beginning of the session whether the high ratings for Trump’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last fall were worth the criticism hurled at the network, Greenblatt said, “I think it was. At the end of the day he was on the show for 11 minutes. And as I like to say, the Earth didn’t fall off its axis.”

NBCUniversal fired Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and divested itself from its partnership with him on the pageants following comments that the mogul made at the launch of his presidential campaign.

Greenblatt argued that Trump’s many appearances on the network since then are consistent with statements the network and its parent company made disparaging Trump’s anti-immigrant views.

“We’re not in business with him, but love it or not he’s one of the most political figures of our time and he’s on our shows,” Greenblatt said. “I think that if we were in the business of never having anyone guest on the network who had views that disagreed with our views, we would be out of business.”

Scene at TCA 2016 Winter Press Tour (Updating Photos)

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