REP. GUTIÉRREZ TELLS NBC TO DUMP TRUMP

Oct 20, 2015 Issues: Immigration

Rep. Gutiérrez Tells NBC To Dump Trump

“If SNL is allowed to proceed, it would be a huge corporate blunder.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) wrote to the Presidents of Comcast and NBC Universal asking them to “disinvite” Donald Trump from hosting the November 7 broadcast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) on NBC.  The Congressman also plans to speak about NBC and Trump on the House Floor on Wednesday and to approach colleagues of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus regarding a resolution to denounce NBC Universal and its parent company Comcast Corp.

pdf of letter:

Rep. Gutiérrez of Chicago starts his letter to the TV executives by saying:

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.

The Congressman notes that NBC had acted swiftly this summer, along with other corporate partners of Donald Trump’s, to sever business ties with the billionaire candidate after he launched his campaign by saying Mexicans, Latinos, and other immigrants were rapists, criminals, and drug-dealers.  In his letter, the Congressman says:

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.

Over the past several weeks, Congressman Gutiérrez has met with groups of Chicago area High School students and they have expressed their fears that Donald Trump may revoke their citizenship or deport their family members. “Putting him on as host is a sign that Trump’s views are being accepted and that is exactly what these American teenagers are afraid of,” Rep. Gutiérrez said.  “I am taking their very real anxiety to heart and it is why I am taking issue with a comedy show.”

The Congressman concludes his letter:

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.

The Congressman plans to speak about Donald Trump on the Floor of the House – as he has done several times in the past – and specifically about the SNL invitation on Wednesday during the morning hour (approximately 10 am ET), and at this week’s meeting of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), he plans to present a resolution for the CHC to consider on Trump’s invitation to host the NBC comedy program. 

Numerous groups have already launched campaigns targeting NBC for the Saturday Night Live invitation, including NCLR, MoveOn.org and America’s Voice

Rep. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  He is one of the main subjects in the FRONTLINE PBS documentary “Immigration Battle,” airing on Tuesday, October 20.

Previous speeches by the Congressman related to Donald Trump on the Floor of the House are here:

Text of letter to Comcast Corp and NBC Universal:

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

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