Congressman Lobbies to Have Trump Removed as ‘SNL’ Host

“If ‘SNL’ is allowed to proceed, it would be a huge corporate blunder,” Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez writes to NBCU, Comcast CEOs

Last Updated: October 20, 2015 @ 6:02 PM

An Illinois congressman is taking his campaign to have Donald Trump removed as host of “Saturday Night Live” to the House of Representatives.

Democrat Luis Gutierrez sent a letter addressed to Brian Roberts, president and CEO of Comcast, and Stephen Burke, president and CEO of NBCUniversal on Tuesday, imploring them to “disinvite” the Republican candidate from the NBC sketch show.

“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.”

Gutierrez will also deliver a speech on Wednesday on the House Floor and plans to approach colleagues of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus regarding a resolution to denounce NBCUniversal and Comcast.

“Because he is a ratings and comedy bonanza, Lorne Michaels and ‘Saturday Night Live’ (‘SNL’) are giving the Trump campaign 90 minutes of free network airtime,” the letter continued. “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.”

NBC had previously cut ties with Donald Trump in July, after the former “Celebrity Apprentice” host made controversial statements regarding Mexican immigrants.

Read Gutierrez’s full letter below:

October 20, 2015

Mr. Brian Roberts
Chairman/President/CEO
Comcast Corp
1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Mr. Stephen B. Burke
President/CEO
NBCUniversal
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Dear Messrs. Roberts and Burke:

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. 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.

Well, it is a big deal. He said Mexicans are rapists, criminals and drug-dealers, and to be clear, when he said Mexicans are those things, he was tarring all Latinos and all immigrants. His exact words were, “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.”

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.

Three months later, because he is a ratings and comedy bonanza, Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live (SNL) are giving the Trump campaign 90 minutes of free network airtime.

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.

When Comcast sought a merger with Time Warner, I and a lot of my Congressional Hispanic Caucus colleagues 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.

Please disinvite him. Make a statement: Derogatory statements of the nature trumpeted by Trump about any group disqualifies someone from hosting shows on your network. 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.

Please do the right thing and dump Trump.

Sincerely,

Luis V. Gutiérrez
Member of Congress