NBC is under pressure from a variety of Hollywood celebrities to reschedule Thursday night’s town hall with President Trump in light of it conflicting with Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden appearing on rival network ABC.
More than 100 actors, directors, writers and producers signed an open letter addressed to NBC executives urging them to consider airing its town hall event with Mr. Trump at a different time.
Jim Carrey, who recently began portraying Mr. Biden on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” separately added there would be a “black hole” on the network and encouraged watching ABC instead, meanwhile.
Both candidates were originally set to debate one-on-one, but the event fell apart when organizers instead on holding it virtually due to Mr. Trump contracting the novel coronavirus and he refused.
Mr. Biden agreed to participate in a town hall on ABC after the debate was canceled, and NBC later announced it would hold a similar event with Mr. Trump scheduled to run at the same day and time.
Among the co-signers of the letter addressed to NBC are famed directors including Aaron Sorkin and J.J. Abrams, as well as entertainers including Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Jon Hamm and scores more, according to copies published by multiple entertainment outlets.
The letter states the co-signers are “devastated” NBC agreed to hold the event, arguing its actions are “enabling the President’s bad behavior” and “doing a disservice” to Americans. But it does not ask the network to cancel the event, and instead suggests it is moved to either before or after the Biden event so voters can view both.
“This is not a partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy,” reads part of the letter.
“We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here,” the letter reads in part.
NBC did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.
Mr. Trump touted the town hall Thursday afternoon in a post on Twitter, meanwhile, where he also attacked NBC as “fake” and claimed the abandoned debate between himself and Mr. Biden was “rigged.”