Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

REP. GUTIÉRREZ TO SNL, NBC AND LORNE MICHAELS: “I’M CALLING YOU OUT”

October 21, 2015
Press Release
Issues: 

Rep. Gutiérrez To SNL, NBC and Lorne Michaels: “I’m Calling You Out”

To Lorne Michaels: “I wonder if things might have been different if Donald Trump was calling all Canadians rapists, murderers and drug dealers.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) followed up on his letter yesterday to the Presidents of Comcast and NBC Universal about Donald Trump hosting Saturday Night Live in November.  Today he spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives during the morning hour (at approximately 10:30 am ET) saying that NBC should rescind the invitation to Trump.  Rep. Gutiérrez said, “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.”

Standing before a card with the hashtag #RacismIsntFunny, Rep. Gutiérrez of Chicago said, “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.”

He continued:

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?

At the end, Rep. Gutiérrez revealed a photo of SNL Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, a Canadian immigrant whose company, Broadway Video,  runs SNL, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and other programs, saying “I wonder if things might have been different if Donald Trump was calling all Canadians rapists, murderers and drug dealers.”

A video of the Congressman’s floor speech is here: https://youtu.be/CbK2XecRLCo

The text, as prepared for delivery, is below.

A press release on the letter sent Oct. 20 to the Presidents of Comcast and NBC is here: http://1.usa.gov/1GnTQ5c

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 was one of the main subjects in the FRONTLINE PBS documentary “Immigration Battle,” that aired on Tuesday, October 20.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez

Remarks 10/21/2015

[CARD: #RacismIsntFunny]

Mr. Speaker.

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.

# # #