Hollywood Tries to “Blackout” Trump’s Town Hall Meeting
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
Hollywood personalities are protesting NBC’s broadcast of President Donald Trump’s town hall meeting on Oct. 15.
More than 100 actors, producers, writers, etc from NBC shows wrote a letter to the network, demanding they change the time of the sitting president’s town hall address so that it does not conflict with Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s address at the same time on ABC.
As Variety reported, the hashtag #NBCBlackout was a top trend on Twitter, and several actors, including Conan O’Brien, Jim Carrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Barbra Streisand, called out NBC on social media.
According to Business Insider:
The letter, addressed to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde, and Brian Roberts, CEO of NBC parent company, Comcast, doesn’t attack Trump’s politics, but rather states that by airing the town halls at the same time, NBC is “enabling the President’s bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public.” …
“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,” the letter says.
The two town halls came to fruition after the second presidential debate was canceled after Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate. Even though the town halls are on two different channels, Biden will still have more screen time, as the ABC event is 90 minutes, while Trump’s NBC event is just one hour.
Newsweek reports that the town hall event will take place in Miami and will be a conversation between Trump and Florida voters moderated by TODAY host Savannah Guthrie.
The event is in lieu of another debate between Trump and Biden. The second presidential debate was cancelled after Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite a call for “fairness,” the demand to move Trump’s town hall is far from promoting free speech and equality among the candidates and NBC has refused to cave to Hollywood’s demands.
“We share in the frustration that our event will initially air alongside the first half of ABC’s broadcast with Vice President Biden. Our decision is motivated only by fairness, not business considerations. We aired a town hall with Vice President Biden on October 5 at 8pm. If we were to move our town hall with President Trump to a later time slot we would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum. We hope voters will watch both discussions — ours will be available at any time, free and on-demand on YouTube, Peacock and all our digital news platforms,” NBCUniversal News Group chairman Cesar Conde said in a statement.
Voters can watch Trump’s town hall will be broadcast on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Oct 15. It will also be available on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC News Now and Telemundo’s online platforms. A livestream can also be accessed on NBC’s YouTube channel.
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