Monday, April 15, 2024

Hispanic Lawmakers Upset Over NBC Executive’s “Illegal” Comment


It what was supposed to be a fence-mending meeting between NBC News executives and Hispanic lawmakers on Capitol Hill angry over a recent appearance by real estate mogul Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live (SNL), however, comments by NBC News President Deborah Turness at the outset simply exacerbated the already palpable tension in the room, those present say.

“There was a lot of frustration in the room,” said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.).

Turness used the term “illegals” to describe undocumented immigrants at the meeting, an offensive term to those in the Latino community Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) quickly interjected saying “I’m going to stop you right there. We use the term undocumented immigrants.”

The members of Congress were also frustrated that no executives of NBC’s entertainment division, those with actual oversight and managerial responsibilities over SNL were present at the meeting and felt that the occasion was simply a way for NBC to pay lip service to the lawmakers and talk about diversity initiatives that were in the works at the network.

Rep. Cardenas added that the meeting, in which “diversity advisory councils” were touted as concrete steps forward, “was about them sitting down with the Hispanic caucus for the sake of saying they met with us.”

One Democratic staffer present at the meeting said that “members left more offended and more upset then when they walked in there. There was major ‘Hispandering,’ there is definitely hurt there.”