Donald Trump may have been a ratings boon for Saturday Night Live, but the show’s decision to host the Republican candidate didn’t sit well with some folks in Hollywood.
Daniel Kellison, a longtime comedy writer who co-created several hits for Comedy Central including Crank Yankers and The Man Show, posted this comment on his Facebook page after Saturday’s episode of SNL. It received several likes from high-profile actors and executives.
“Just a reminder to anyone out there trying to make a living in comedy: all that matters are ratings,” Kellison wrote. “Not what you write, or create, or put your heart and mind into, or certainly not your integrity. Just ratings. To everyone who had to work on SNL tonight, I send heartfelt empathy. Tonight your employers embarrassed you; let you down and compromised all you have worked your entire careers for, in hopes of humanizing a dangerous racist — all for a measly Nielsen point. Whereas a week before you may have felt you were living your dream? Tonight it sucked to be you.”
Trump’s stint as host was met with numerous protests in the lead up to Saturday night. The controversial candidate has continued to come under fire for remarks he made while announcing his presidential campaign this past summer. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Before Trump’s appearance on SNL, actor John Leguizamo told Yahoo News that he would no longer watch the NBC late-night show because of its decision to book the candidate in the wake of those comments.
“If he had said those things about any other ethnic group he would not be on that SNL,” Leguizamo said. “I mean I find SNL to do that and NBC. I find it really insulting. I find it hurtful and insulting and you’re celebrating somebody who has said some horrible things. I find it unacceptable. I will not watch.”
Former castmember Nora Dunn, who appeared on SNL from 1985 to 1990 and famously refused to appear on the show when Andrew Dice Clay hosted, wrote an opinion piece for The Huffington Post that included this thought: “Was I disappointed that Trump was going to host? Yes, but not surprised. The host of Saturday Night Live is still perceived as an endorsement, and what else can it be? If I was currently on the job I’d have trouble making Trump look good or funny or even worse, harmless. That’s not the job of any comedy troupe. But it’s really all about ratings, and finding a host can be difficult when who you are looking for has to be trending.”
There was also this sarcastic tweet from former castmember Kevin Nealon:
In the meantime, NBC stations have made it known that Trump’s rivals can now request equal time on the air — albeit at the local level. Since Trump appeared on SNL for 12 minutes and 5 seconds beginning at 11:39 p.m. on Nov. 7, rivals can ask for the same amount of broadcast time from stations in states where they can prove they are legally-qualifed candidates. For more details, head here.