NBC is under fire after both fans and employees of the network have criticized the decision to broadcast President Donald Trump’s town hall at the same time that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s scheduled event.
The drama started on Wednesday when NBC announced that Savannah Guthrie would host a town hall with Trump at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, which is the same time that Biden’s town hall will air on ABC.
NBC’s decision will force voters to choose which candidate they want to watch. As a result, a petition was sent to NBCUniversal News Group chairman Cesar Conde, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal, and chairman Jeff Shell in protest of the scheduled programming.
The Hollywood Reporter reported NBC stars like Mariska Hargitay from “Law & Order: SVU,” as well as Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia from “This Is Us” were just some of more than 100 names from network stars who signed the plea to change the time of Trump’s town hall. Alec Baldwin, who regularly impersonates Trump on “SNL,” also signed.
“We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state. 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 read.
“We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here.”
On Twitter, #NBCBoycott and #NBCBlackout has been trending as voters share their frustration over having to choose between Biden and Trump.
Despite the backlash, The Wall Street Journal reported NBC will not change the time of Trump’s town hall meeting.
“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,” Conde said in a statement.