On the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow morning, Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez plans to give a speech in which he blasts NBC’s plans to have Donald Trump host Saturday Night Live

Today, Gutierrez, a Democrat, sent a letter to NBCU CEO Steve Burke and parent Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts, urging them to jettison plans to let Trump host the November 7 edition of the late-night show. He warned a Trump hosting gig  “would be a huge corporate blunder.”

The hosting offer “is a level of endorsement that says to America that every hateful and racist thing Donald Trump has said since the moment he launched his campaign is acceptable and no big deal,” Gutierrez scolded in the letter. He noted NBC had, after Trump announced his White House bid, severed business ties with Trump over his campaign announcement speech comments in which “he said Mexicans, Latinos, and other immigrants were rapists, criminals, and drug-dealers,” Gutierrez wrote.

“Three months later, because he is a ratings and comedy bonanza, Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live are giving the Trump campaign 90 minutes of free network airtime.”

Gutierrez reminded the two execs, ominously, that “when Comcast sought a merger with Time Warner, I and a lot of my Congressional Hispanic Caucus colleagues heard from you about your commitment to the Latino community and the level of corporate responsibility you pledged to your diverse audience. I certainly hope that your commitment to ‘respect and dignity for all people’ was not some hollow promise and is in fact a cornerstone of your values.”

Asked about the campaigns by Gutierrez, and others, to get Trump 86’d as SNL host, GOP White House hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio this afternoon advised the congressman, on Fox News Channel, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch the show….It’s a free country. I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump says. I don’t’ agree with everything the other side says either. But if you don’t like it, don’t watch the show. It’s on at 11:35 on Saturday nights and there are plenty of other things you can watch – or you can just go to bed early.”
Gutierrez’ letter:

October 20, 2015

Mr. Brian Roberts
Chairman/President/CEO
Comcast Corp
1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Mr. Stephen B. Burke
President/CEO
NBCUniversal
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Dear Messrs. Roberts and Burke:

Having Donald Trump as a guest on every news and entertainment program is one thing, but allowing him to host Saturday Night Live is another. It is a level of endorsement that says to America that every hateful and racist thing Donald Trump has said since the moment he launched his campaign is acceptable and no big deal.

Well, it is a big deal. He said Mexicans are rapists, criminals and drug-dealers, and to be clear, when he said Mexicans are those things, he was tarring all Latinos and all immigrants. His exact words were, “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.”

The reaction in July from NBC was swift and clear: “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.” And NBC said, “Respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

Serta, Macy’s, NASCAR, Univision, and ESPN were among the others that also acted to dump Trump.

Three months later, because he is a ratings and comedy bonanza, Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live (SNL) are giving the Trump campaign 90 minutes of free network airtime.

I think I speak for a lot of Americans, especially immigrant Americans and Latino Americans, when I say that if SNL is allowed to proceed, it would be a huge corporate blunder.

When Comcast sought a merger with Time Warner, I and a lot of my Congressional Hispanic Caucus colleagues heard from you about your commitment to the Latino community and the level of corporate responsibility you pledged to your diverse audience. I certainly hope that your commitment to “respect and dignity for all people” was not some hollow promise and is in fact a cornerstone of your values.

Please disinvite him. Make a statement: Derogatory statements of the nature trumpeted by Trump about any group disqualifies someone from hosting shows on your network. Send a message that racism is not funny and that responsibility to your viewers and the public is more important than ratings. It is a chance for your company – again – to show you are committed to your audience in more ways than just the ad revenues they provide you.

Please do the right thing and dump Trump.

Sincerely,

Luis V. Gutiérrez
Member of Congress