Sterling K. Brown, Chris Meloni, Sophia Bush, and More Stars Petition for NBC to Move Trump’s Town Hall Timeslot

Aaron Sorkin, Adam McKay, Allison Janney, Amy Schumer, Ava DuVernay, Billy Porter, Chris Miller, Damon Lindelof, Donald Trump, Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams, Joe Biden, Julianne Moore, Kenya Barris, Mariska Hargitay, Phil Lord, Ryan Murphy, Seth MacFarlane, Seth Rogen, Television

A host of celebrities are speaking out against NBC's decision to schedule a town hall with Donald Trump on Thursday night at the same time Joe Biden‘s town hall is airing on ABC.

In an open letter shared by Deadline, a group of actors, producers, writers, and directors are urging the network to move Trump's town hall before or after Biden's. The lengthy list of stars who signed the letter include the cast of NBC's This Is Us, Mariska Hargitay, Aaron Sorkin, J.J. Abrams, Ryan Murphy, Ava DuVernay, Allison Janney, and more.

News of Trump's town hall came after the debate commission canceled the second presidential debate, which was initially scheduled for Oct. 15, when Trump refused to participate in the virtual format that had been arranged in light of his COVID-19 diagnosis. Following the debate's cancellation, ABC scheduled a town hall with Biden for the same night, and NBC later scheduled one with Trump that will air at the same time. The network has been met with backlash for the decision.

The letter, which is addressed to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, and NBCU News Group chairman Cesar Conde, argues, “This is not a partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy.” They continue, “You are enabling the President's bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public.” The letter further suggests that “this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state.”

The letter concludes, “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.”

Read the full letter and see the complete list of signees below:

To Brian Roberts, Jeff Shell and Cesar Conde:

We are a group of writers, actors, directors and producers. Many of us have been lucky enough to work for NBCUniversal at some point in our careers. Some of us are currently employed at your studio. We have always thought of NBC Universal as both a terrific creative home and a brand that stands for the best in entertainment and broadcast journalism.

This is why we have been devastated to learn that you have chosen to air President Trump's town hall this Thursday night at 8pm, directly opposite Vice President Biden's town hall.

This is not a partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy.

President Trump refused to participate in the virtual debate scheduled for Thursday night by the Presidential Debate Commission. By agreeing to air his town hall as counterprogramming opposite Vice President Biden's town hall on ABC, you are enabling the President's bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public.

We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state.

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.

We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here.

Signed:

Aaron Sorkin
Abbi Jacobson
Adam McKay
Adam Scott
Alex Barnow
Allison Janney
Allison Tolman
Amy Lippman
Amy Schumer
Aubrey Plaza
Ava DuVernay
Ayelet Waldman
Ben Stiller
Billy Eichner
Billy Porter
Brendan Gall
Chelsea Handler
Chris Bishop
Chris Meloni
Chris Miller
Chris Misiano
Chris Sullivan
Chrissy Metz
Courtney Kemp
Dahvi Waller
Damon Lindelof
Dan Fogelman
Daniel Hageman
David A. Goodman
David Goyer
David Guggenheim
David Kohan
Debra Messing
Donald Faison
Ely Henry
Emily Gordon
Eric Guggeheim
Greg Berlanti
JJ Abrams
Jason Moore
Jennifer Yale
Jill Knox
Jim Parriott
Joe Mantello
Jon Cryer
Jon Hamm
Jon Huertas
Josh Gad
Josh Singer
Joss Whedon
Julianne Moore
Julie Martin
Julie Plec
Justin Hartley
Keith Powell
Ken Olin
Kenya Barris
Kevin Hageman
Kumail Nanjiani
Laeta Kalogridis
Latoya Morgan
Mandy Moore
Marc Guggenheim
Marjorie David
Mariska Hargitay
Marti Noxon
Martin Gero
Matthew Lopez
Max Mutchnick
Michael Chabon
Michael Green
Malcolm Spellman
Michele Fazekas
Milo Ventimiglia
Neal Baer
Nicholas Stoller
Nicole Yorkin
Otmara Marrero
Parvesh Cheena
Patton Oswalt
Phil Lord
Preacher Lawson
Robert king
Robert Kirkman
Ryan Murphy
Samuel Baum
Sarah Schechter
Sarah Silverman
Sarah Treem
Seth Grahame-Smith
Seth MacFarlane
Seth Rogen
Shakina Nayfack
Sophia Bush
Sterling K. Brown
Sunil Nayir
Susan Kelechi Watson
Tara Butters
Terry Matalas
Thor Freudenthal
Tom McCarthy
Tony Kushner
Travis Beacham
Vanessa Taylor
Zoe Lister-Jones

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