Latino groups are stepping up their calls urging NBC’s Saturday Night Live to drop its plans to have Donald Trump host the show next month.
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group of 40 national and regional Hispanic civil rights and public policy groups, criticized the network’s decision in a letter sent to NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke and Saturday Night Live Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, saying it was “appalled” and “flabbergasted” by the invitation. It called Trump's scheduled appearance as host on Nov. 7 as “nothing less than a ratings play.”
“Donald Trump has yet to apologize for his bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants,” the letter reads. “Allowing Trump to host SNL will legitimize and validate his anti-Latino comments.”
Trump's appearance has also prompted an online petition calling on SNL to revoke its invitation. A MoveOn.org petition titled “No room for hate Saturday Night Live:Tell NBC to dump Donald Trump as host” has already garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
Trump, appearing on “Fox and Friends” on Monday, brushed off the criticism. “Those groups are looking to fund-raise, I know all about those groups,” he said.
Trump also said he’s confident he’s winning support among Latinos for his presidential bid. “I’m leading in the polls with the Hispanics,” he said. “I’m leading in the polls with the Hispanics because I produce jobs, and they know it. I have thousands of Hispanics that work for me.”
He predicted SNL's ratings with him as host “are going to be through the roof,” adding: “Lorne Michaels is a very smart guy.”
Fusion reached out to NBC, which earlier this year cut ties with Trump's Miss America Franchise over racist comments about Mexicans, but the network declined to comment on the SNL matter.