“After much criticism and publicity, Donald Trump’s 90 minutes in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ spotlight went on as planned, and the NBC show saw some high ratings as a result,” LA Times stated.
Even though the episode starring Trump received high publicity,the show was not without its controversial moments. “As custom, NBC released multiple promotional videos this week of Trump with cast member Cecily Strong. One of them featured Trump calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson ‘a complete and total loser,’” www.washingtonpost.com reported.
Petitions calling for SNL to #DumpTrump circulated far and wide, accruing hundreds of thousands of signatures. Actress Eva Longoria called for a boycott. The PAC Deport Racism said it would give $5,000 to whomever interrupted the live broadcast by calling Trump a racist. (The show got out in front of that by having Larry David do so during Trump’s opening monologue), according to www.vox.com
“Adding to the controversy involving Trump hosting the show is supposed FCC regulation equal time rule, an often misunderstood FCC regulation that requires that a station that gives free airtime to one candidate offer the same opportunity for exposure to rival qualified candidates.” salutemag.com reported.
When Hilary Clinton was on “SNL,” she got less time on the show than Trump. “His amount of time on the show will be substantively longer than Hillary’s very brief appearance. policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, Meredith McGehee argues that Trump’s appearance on “SNL” is crossing the line in terms of “triggering the equal time rule.” She adds that “the dynamics of the race, where they are trying to humanize him and show that he is not just a bloviator, it is incredibly politically valuable to him,” salutemag.com explained.