NBC stars slam network over Trump town hall scheduling

NBC is under fire over its town hall event with President Trump scheduled at the same time as one with former Vice President Joe Biden — including from stars who work for the network.

More than 100 actors, producers, writers, and directors have signed a letter to NBC executives objecting to the decision to hold a town hall event on Thursday with Trump at the same time that Biden is set to participate in his own town hall on ABC, The Wall Street Journal reports. Biden scheduled his event after Trump backed out of the presidential debate originally scheduled for Oct. 15, and NBC subsequently announced its event with Trump for the same evening at the same time.

The letter argues that by airing the Trump town hall as "counterprogramming," NBC is "enabling the president's bad behavior" after he refused to participate in a virtual debate.

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"We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state," the letter reads, per Deadline. "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."

Among those who signed the letter are This Is Us stars Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, and Milo Ventimiglia, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit executive producer Neal Baer, and Seth MacFarlane, who recently signed a production deal with NBCUniversal, the Journal notes. Other signatories include Aaron Sorkin, Adam Scott, Ava DuVernay, Aubrey Plaza, Ben Stiller, Billy Porter, Debra Messing, J.J. Abrams, Jon Hamm, and Ryan Murphy, Deadline reports.

NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde in a statement to the Journal said that since the network previously held a Biden town hall at 8:00 p.m., the scheduling of Trump's at that time was "motivated only by fairness, not business considerations."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.