Over 100 entertainment industry heavyweights sent a letter Thursday asking NBC News to move the town hall with President Donald Trump scheduled for Thursday night at the same time as ABC News’ event with Joe Biden.
Aaron Sorkin, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Murphy and Mariska Hargitay were among those who signed the letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and NBCU News Group chairman Cesar Conde.
Notably, a number of signees came from high-profile NBC shows. “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman signed along with stars Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown. Debra Messing of “Will & Grace” added her name, too. They joined the stars of NBC’s “Connecting,” who condemned the move Wednesday night, hours after #BoycottNBC started appearing on Twitter.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ name didn’t appear on the list but she tweeted the tag #NBCBlackout. Jameela Jamil, who stars in NBC’s “The Good Place,” tweeted that the network was “going to the Bad Place.” Jim Carrey, who recently signed on to portray Biden on NBC’s “Saturday Night Life,” tweeted that there would be a “black hole” on the network and encouraged his nearly-19 million followers to watch ABC instead.
Read the letter below:
To Brian Roberts, Jeff Shell and Cesar Conde:
We are a group of writers, actors, directors and producers. Many of us have been lucky enough to work for NBCUniversal at some point in our careers. Some of us are currently employed at your studio. We have always thought of NBC Universal as both a terrific creative home and a brand that stands for the best in entertainment and broadcast journalism.
This is why we have been devastated to learn that you have chosen to air President Trump’s town hall this Thursday night at 8pm, directly opposite Vice President Biden’s town hall.
This is not a partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy.
President Trump refused to participate in the virtual debate scheduled for Thursday night by the Presidential Debate Commission. By agreeing to air his town hall as counterprogramming opposite Vice President Biden’s town hall on ABC, you are enabling the President’s bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public.
We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state.
We are simply asking that NBC air the President’s town hall either before or after Vice President Biden’s so that American voters can have the opportunity to watch both.
We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here.
David A. Goodman
Sterling K. Brown
Susan Kelechi Watson