Pressure mounts on SNL to cancel Donald Trump appearance

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In the letter Gutiérrez said having Trump host the show represented a "level of endorsement that says to America that every hateful and racist thing Donald Trump has said is since the moment he launched his campaign is acceptable and no big deal".

The hashtag #RacismIsntFunny began trending on Twitter over the weekend as Hispanic advocacy groups and some entertainment industry figures called for Trump to be removed as host of the late-night variety program over his strong position on illegal immigration.

The California Latino Legislative Caucus is the latest of several Hispanic groups that have pounced on SNL and NBCUniversal for offering the GOP presidential hopeful a platform despite his widely criticized comments painting Mexican immigrants in broad strokes as "rapists" who are "bringing drugs" and "bringing crime" to the United States.

Within days, NBC fired Trump as host of "The Celebrity Apprentice" and ended its involvement with his Miss United States and Miss Universe pageants, citing his "recent derogatory statements".

The letter continues: 'How can SNL justify casting zero Latinas over 41 seasons and only 2 Latinos over the same period, while promoting Trump's divisive speech toward Latinos?' He went on to point out that SNL has no Latino cast members. In its four decades on the air, "Saturday Night Live" has had just two Latino cast members, both of them men: Horatio Sanz, who is of Chilean descent, and Fred Armisen, whose mother came from Venezuela.

Latino advocacy groups, politicians and media observers have lobbied NBC for its decision to have the controversial Republican presidential front-runner host its comedy show on 7 November. Now it's giving him a coveted hosting slot on "Saturday Night Live" - to a growing chorus of criticism.

NBC has not responded to the criticism, but it's likely the network sees Trump's SNL episode as a ratings bonanza; a September appearance by the candidate on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon was a big hit for NBC. "I think they'll have luck in driving up the ratings", he said. "I know these groups, many of them are scam groups". Marco Rubio is third at eight percent. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, have hosted the show.


But the last time a candidate hosted while in the middle of an active campaign was in December 2003, when Democratic long-shot Al Sharpton played the role of emcee.