NBC Ignores Latino Groups Angered by Trump's SNL Appearance
In June, when Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, NBC was one of the first corporations doing business with the mogul to respond.
"NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," the network stated. "Respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values."
But less than four months later, NBC's beloved sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live has scheduled an appearance by Trump, who's slated to host the program Nov. 7. What's confounding to critics is that not only has NBC acted against its own June pronouncement but that it's now ignoring the largest Latino organizations in America.
Last week a coalition of 40 Latino groups, including the L.A.-based National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Council of La Raza and the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, fired a letter off to NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke asking that he facilitate a meeting with SNL producer Lorne Michaels.
So far, NBC has been silent.
"The fact they can easily dismiss us is part of the problem," said Felix Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. "You would expect there would be some cordiality about listening to our concerns."
Sanchez says that, absent a response from the network, a boycott of SNL advertisers is "on the table."
National Hispanic Media Coalition president Alex Nogales also has reached out in an attempt to speak to SNL's Michaels, and he's also been met with crickets, he told us. "We'll consider our options," he said previously. "We're not going to wait forever."
An online petition urging NBC to drop Trump had nearly 130,000 signatures as of last night.
The letter-writing coalition, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, wants NBC to reconsider the Trump booking, of course. But it also wants to talk about SNL's dismal record when it comes to hiring Latinos.
In 41 seasons the show has never had a Latina on its cast. It has had only two Latinos, Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen, as cast members. "It is unconscionable that a major U.S. corporation [that] needs Latino viewers is acting so clueless," the letter says.
In fact, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda has been trying to meet with Michaels since 2013, the letter says:
The issue ultimately falls at the foot of Lorne Michaels. Since November 2013, NHLA has requested to meet with Mr. Michaels to discuss the lack of Latino representation on SNL. NHLA has never received a response and are renewing our request here to meet directly with Lorne Michaels to discuss both the guest host invitation to Trump and SNL's historic lack of Latino cast members.
We reached out to NBC more than once but we were told it would not comment.
Appearing on Fox News Monday, Trump acknowledged that Latino organizations want him booted from SNL.
"Those groups are looking to fund-raise," he said. "I know all about those groups."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.