Back in June, after Donald Trump began sharing polarizing thoughts on immigrants, NBC issued a statement saying that because “[we] respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values… NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
So, what changed less than five months later, that Trump was invited to host Saturday Night Live?
Simply said, NBC had no idea Trump’s candidacy would have the legs it did.
“We got out of both of those businesses [Celebrity Apprentice and the pageants]… when most of us thought he would be waltzing into the background. Lo and behold, he’s the frontrunner,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt explained on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena.
“The poll numbers are astounding. He’s everywhere, and that reconciles quite easily [with NBC’s decision],” Greenblatt continued. “[L]ove it or not, he’s of the most important political figures of our time. I don’t think the public was confused [by his hosting of SNL] as much as the press and some special interest groups.”
Still, said “special interest groups” were vocal in their disapproval of the Peacock’s seeming condoning of Trump’s more controversial opinions. So was it worth it?
“I think it was,” Greenblatt said. “At the end of the day, he was on the show for 11 minutes. The earth didn’t fall out of its axis. It was a highly rated show, and that’s always a good thing.”
“If we were in the business of never having anyone guest on the network who had views that disagree with our views,” the exec later added, “we’d be out of business.”
Does NBC’s stance pass muster with you?