Hispanic groups and others are up in arms over Donald Trump hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night.
NM Political Report reached out to Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday afternoon about the news. Both are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Lujan Grisham is the 1st Vice Chair of the caucus; Luján previously occupied that position.
In a statement, Lujan Grisham said that the caucus “decided to take a stand on behalf of Hispanics in all of our communities who are offended by SNL’s decision to give Donald Trump a platform to demonize an entire class of people.”
“While I understand SNL is in the entertainment business, racism is not funny,” Lujan Grisham said. “And hateful rhetoric made by a candidate for President of the United States has no place in our national discourse.”
Luján said in a statement to NM Political Report that it is “disappointing and shameful” that Trump was chosen to host the program because he “has repeatedly said hateful, ugly, and downright discriminatory things to the Hispanic community.”
The CHC previously criticized NBCUniversal and SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels for deciding to have the controversial presidential candidate host the show. The 26-member caucus, all Democrats, asked the network and Michaels to rescind the invitation to host SNL.
This clearly did not happen, and he will host the show tomorrow night.
“Mr. Trump’s racist remarks and his continued rhetoric demonizing Latinos and immigrants has created fear within these communities around the country, many of which are represented in Congress by Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” a statement by the CHC said.
“Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric toward immigrants and the Hispanic community is not something to be celebrated or rewarded,” Luján said. “Yet the incendiary and divisive comments that have made him a Republican front runner have also, sadly, landed him a starring role as host of Saturday Night Live.”
Trump’s problems with Hispanics came from his announcement that he was running for President earlier this year.
Trump said that Mexico is not sending their best people to the United States.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump has very low favorability ratings among Hispanics.
This will be the second time Trump has hosted the program. The first time was in 2004, when he was host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice.
NBC could face other problems because of Trump hosting. Some activists are looking for a boycott of sponsors of Saturday’s show.
And, significantly, NBC could be forced to provide “equal time” to other candidates for Trump’s appearance. The Washington Post explained:
Although candidates can’t take advantage of the equal time regulation when their competitors are mentioned on news segments or appear in news interviews, they can use it when it comes to other broadcast shows, which SNL happens to be.
There are 14 other Republican candidates currently running for President.
As the Post noted, Larry Lessig requested equal time after Clinton appeared in a cameo on SNL a few weeks ago; she was on the air for just over 3 minutes. As a host, Trump will be on in nearly every sketch.
Critics have also pointed out that Hispanics rarely appear on SNL; this is the 41st season of the show and there have been only two Hispanic castmembers (Horatio Sanz, who is of Chilean descent, and Fred Armisen, whose mother is Venezuelan).
Updated with quote from Michelle Lujan Grisham.