As protests grow, ‘SNL’ looks unlikely to dump Donald Trump as host
With little more than 48 hours to go until presidential candidate Donald Trump is slated to host “Saturday Night Live,” Latino advocacy groups continue to pressure NBC to cancel the appearance.
On Tuesday, a group of 67 Latino artists, academics and politicians released a strongly worded statement denouncing Trump for what they described as “hate speech” that appeals “to xenophobia, sexism and political intolerance.” The letter, signed by the likes of Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, actors Diego Luna and Demian Bichir and author Junot Diaz, also criticized Trump for his treatment of journalists Megyn Kelly and Jorge Ramos.
The outcry grew louder on Wednesday, when protesters from a coalition of advocacy groups gathered outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC’s operations in Manhattan and “Saturday Night Live’s” studios. The so-called “Dump Trump” rally included members of pro-immigration reform and Latino advocacy groups including the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, America’s Voice and the National Council on La Raza.
The coalition also delivered a petition with over 500,000 signatures to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Stephen Burke and “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels urging cancellation of Trump’s appearance.
NBC had no comment on the matter.
The protest has reached the halls of power in Washington, D.C., where the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has issued a “statement of opposition” to Trump’s appearance.
For his part, Carson doesn’t seem too amused by Trump’s upcoming appearance. In an interview with Bloomberg the retired neurosurgeon implied that he considers the “SNL” gig inappropriate for a presidential candidate.
“I think the presidency of the United States is a very serious thing,” he said. “I don’t even want to begin to put it in the lightness of comedy.”
Trump has been a lightning rod for controversy since making remarks about undocumented Mexican immigrants in the speech announcing his presidential campaign in June.
For weeks, President Obama kept quiet as the Donald helped fuel “birther” conspiracy theories.
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate,” Trump told “Good Morning America” in spring 2011. “He may have one, but there is something on that birth certificate -- maybe religion, maybe it says he’s a Muslim, I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that. Or, he may not have one.” Trump also told a tea party rally that Obama “almost certainly will go down as the worst president in the history of the United States.”
But Obama seemed to get the last laugh when, right after releasing his long-form birth certificate, he lampooned Trump at the White House correspondents’ dinner. “Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter,” the president said. “Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?” Zing!
But that didn’t quiet Trump. The Donald fired back during Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign with a “big announcement” goading Obama to release his college transcripts the October before the election so that he would donate $5 million to charity. Turns out the offer was one the president could easily refuse.
OK, so it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Hello, Newman,” the greeting the fictional
Yet should one cross Trump, don’t expect a shrug and a handshake. Instead, Seinfeld received a rant after the comedian backed out of a charity benefit hosted by one of Trump’s sons, supposedly because of the birther issue. Seinfeld’s camp has been relatively quiet, but Trump was quoted as taking a swing at Seinfeld’s TV credits.
No, not the beloved “Seinfeld,” but instead the unscripted show
They exchanged barbed words in November 2010 over the project with Trump saying, “I like the developer, but it’s always very tough to make something successful at the high-end level with a public school in the building.” Gehry said that Trump was just holding a grudge ever since he turned down working on one of his projects, adding, “I don’t like his hairdo anyway.”
Touché, Frank. Touché. (Getty Images)
The pop star supposedly backed out of a Trump event due to a lingering battle with bronchitis. Yet the next day Rihanna performed in Los Angeles at the NBA All-Star Game. Trump wasn’t too hard on Rihanna, but he was quoted in the Palm Beach Post: “I thought [the cancellation] was insulting to everyone. But for Rihanna to go to the All-Star Game and perform after she told us she was sick, that is just a lack of respect.” (Getty Images)
It may have started when
“I’ll NEVER GO TO MACY’S AGAIN!” Cher tweeted. “I didn’t know they sold Donald Trump’s Line! If they don’t care that they sell products from a LOUDMOUTH.”
But Trump didn’t take the tirade sitting down, firing back about the singer’s surgical procedures.
“Cher-- I don’t wear a ‘rug'--it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.” (Getty Images / Los Angeles Times)
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said at the time. Trump has provoked further criticism with calls for the mass deportation of some 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally and to end to end birthright citizenship.
After Trump’s initial comments, NBC quickly moved to end its business relationship with the former host of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” announcing it would not air the Miss Universe or Miss USA pageants, which Trump owns. But Trump has since made numerous appearances on NBC programs, including “Today” and “Tonight.”
In media appearances this week, Trump has repeatedly stated what many suspect -- that he was invited to host “SNL” because he is a ratings magnet.
“The reason they put me there is one very simple reason, it’s called ratings,” he told “Today” host Savannah Guthrie on Thursday. “I get good ratings. If I didn’t get ratings, they wouldn’t put me there.”
At this point, however, Trump could probably use some positive exposure: After leading the Republican pack all summer long, he is now neck and neck with Carson, according to multiple polling organizations.
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