The Brief: The hashtag #NBCBlackout started trending on Twitter as people criticize NBC and call for a boycott because the network plans to air Trump's town hall at the same time as Biden's on Oct. 15.
On Oct. 15, the hashtag #NBCBlackout was trending on Twitter as people including NBC stars and prominent public figures called for a boycott of the network. This was prompted by NBC’s plan to air a virtual town hall with President Donald Trump on the same night that a debate with former Vice President Joe Biden was previously scheduled, and at the same time that ABC will be hosting a town hall with Biden.
Critics of NBC’s decision suggest that it gives the President undue airtime and that the program will take viewers away from Biden’s town hall. Among those voicing their opposition to this move on social media are current and past NBC staffers and stars and celebrities with large platforms including Katie Couric, Conan O’Brien, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Barbra Streisand. Over 100 Hollywood actors, producers, and directors including Ava DuVernay, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Aaron Sorkin signed a petition sent to NBC Universal and Comcast objecting to the timing of the town hall.
#NBCBLACKOUT On Twitter
On Thursday, the hashtag #NBCBlackout reached Twitter’s #1 trending spot in the United States. At the time of writing, both Biden’s ABC town hall and Trump’s NBC town hall are scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern.
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) October 15, 2020
When the cast of Seinfeld calls for #NBCBlackout you know NBC is disgraceful.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) October 15, 2020
I prefer TV stations that DON'T simultaneously air a Town Hall for a coward who refused to debate his opponent.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) October 15, 2020
I wouldn’t watch a 60 minute Trump lieathon even to if it didn’t conflict with Biden’s town hall. I’d rather watch paint dry.#NBCBlackout
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) October 15, 2020
— 𝘒𝘦𝘯 𝘔𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 (@PortableRockArt) October 15, 2020
Having dueling town halls is bad for democracy-voters should be able to watch both and I don’t think many will. This will be good for Trump because people like to watch his unpredictability. This is a bad decision. #vote
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) October 14, 2020
I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked by an NBC programming decision.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) October 15, 2020
NBC created the monster with The Apprentice.
There has to be a consequence for it now doing his bidding.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) October 15, 2020
NBC is going to the Bad Place. 👎🏽
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 15, 2020
I’ll be watching our next president’s town hall tonight. And not Trump’s. Raise your hand if you’ll be doing the same. #NBCBlackout
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 15, 2020