There's more fallout today from NBC's decision to air a town hall with President Trump tonight at the same time as ABC's town hall with Joe Biden. While the backlash came primarily from journalists and media critics Wednesday, several prominent NBC personalities are now speaking out against the move, which NBC says was "motivated only by fairness."
- More than 100 actors, writers, and producers signed an open letter to NBCUniversal executives asking them to move the air time of the Trump town hall to either before or after ABC's Biden town hall. It was co-signed by "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay and "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman. Read the full letter and see everyone who signed here.
- The letter says that scheduling a competing town hall with Trump at the same time "enable[s] the President's bad behavior." (President Trump previously refused to participate in a virtual debate scheduled for tonight.)
- NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen called NBC "pathetic" for suggesting it had no choice but to schedule its town hall to compete against ABC's.
- Former "Today" host Katie Couric called the dueling town halls "bad for democracy" and a "bad decision."
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweeted "#NBCBlackout" and Conan O'Brien playfully tweeted "I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked by an NBC programming decision." (You'll likely remember what happened to him about 10 years ago.)
Both town halls start tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Trump will take questions from voters in Miami at an event moderated by Savannah Guthrie on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC. Biden will be questioned by voters at an event in Philadelphia moderated by George Stephanopoulos on ABC. The networks will also stream the events live across digital channels.
NBC said in a statement that it hopes voters will watch both broadcasts and will make its town hall available to stream for free after its conclusion on YouTube, Peacock, and across its digital news platforms.