Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez delivered an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday, demanding that “Saturday Night Live” dump Donald Trump as host of its Nov. 7 show.
Citing Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants, Gutierrez blasted NBC and “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels for giving the Republican candidate free airtime, while also calling out the show for not having any Latino castmembers.
“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,” he said.
Gutierrez compared Trump’s statements to racist or sexist ones, asking if Trump would still be allowed to host if he had broadly called other minority groups criminals.
“If Donald Trump had said gays and lesbians were murdering and raping Americans, would he get to host the show? It is every bit as much of a fiction and a lie,” he said. “What if he said black people were murderers, rapists and drug-dealers, would you still pitch skits with Donald Trump in some light-hearted banter?”
The speech was delivered in front of a card with the hashtag #RacismIsntFunny written on it, but Gutierrez assured that he hasn’t lost his sense of humor or “been kidnapped by the politically correct police.”
“While much of what Donald Trump says is hilarious, intentionally or otherwise, bald-faced racism for political gain isn’t funny,” he said.
The speech follows a letter signed by Gutierrez addressed to Brian Roberts, president and CEO of Comcast, and Stephen Burke, president and CEO of NBCUniversal sent on Tuesday demanding that they “dis-invite” Trump as host.
“Having Donald Trump as a guest on every news and entertainment program is one thing, but allowing him to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ is another,” he wrote. “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.”
Read his full remarks below:
Did you hear that Saturday Night Live has invited Donald Trump to host the show in November?
Now, let me get the exact quote, from July when Donald Trump launched his “Make America Hate Again” campaign, he said:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! … They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably from the Middle East.”
While much of what Donald Trump says is hilarious, intentionally or otherwise–bald-faced, racism for political gain isn’t funny.
His statements should disqualify him from being able to take the stage in an entertainment venue and speak to the American people as if what he said was no big deal.
It is not that I don’t get the joke. I haven’t been kidnapped by the Politically Correct police.
But when public figures cross certain lines, they should lose their privileges to host TV shows.
At least until they have apologized for their unacceptable behavior.
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.
What happened, NBC and Comcast? Within a couple of weeks after Trump launched those racist bombs, you dumped Trump. You dumped his TV show on your network. You dumped his pageants and other ventures on NBC and Universal networks like Telemundo.
In July, NBC said: “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
NBC said “respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”
And NBC, you were not alone in dumping Trump.
Macy’s Department Stores dumped Trump’s clothing line. Serta dumped Trump’s mattresses. Chef Jose Andres pulled his new restaurant from a Trump hotel. And Univision dumped a Trump pageant. Even NASCAR and ESPN dumped Trump.
Corporate America stepped up to the plate and dumped Trump. And we applauded.
Let’s be clear, the goodwill that corporate America earned for dumping Trump didn’t just come from the Mexican-American community.
No, when Trump says Mexicans are murderers, rapists and drug-dealers, Puerto Ricans know he is talking about us too. And Colombians and Salvadorans and pretty much every Latino community.
Look, Americans are not very good at telling us apart, so when we are under attack by a tycoon running for the Republican presidential nomination, we can’t tell us apart either–we are family.
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.
If Donald Trump had said gays and lesbians were murdering and raping Americans, would he get to host the show?
It is every bit as much of a fiction and a lie…
Trump has said some pretty awful things about women, individually and collectively – but what if he said most women were criminals?
Would the writers be thinking up sketches for Trump if he had slandered an entire gender rather than an entire ethnic group?
Trump says he wants to do away with the part of the Constitution that allowed freed African-American slaves to be treated fully as American citizens.
Yes, Trump thinks we do not need the 14th Amendment.
But what if he said black people were murderers, rapists and drug-dealers, would you still pitch skits with Donald Trump in some light-hearted banter?
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?
[REVEAL PICTURE OF LORNE MICHAELS]
I am not calling for a boycott. That would go too far. Besides, like most Americans I stopped watching SNL years ago, but I will say this to Producer Lorne Michaels.
I wonder if things might have been different if Donald Trump was calling all Canadians rapists, murderers and drug dealers.