On Sunday, NBC aired a controversial political ad paid for by President Donald Trump’s campaign during the prime-time commercial breaks for Sunday Night Football.
The anti-immigration ad, which the president first shared last Wednesday, aired about two hours into the broadcast of Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.
The clip has sought to whip up voters’ fears of the Central American migrant caravan ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. The 30-second spot includes footage of Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican citizen who killed two police officers in 2014, and likens his behavior to members of the caravan. The video then urges viewers to “vote Republican” before a voiceover from the president says he approves the message.
The spot has been roundly lambasted and CNN made headlines after the network refused to air it, saying it was blatantly “racist.” Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, had criticized the network earlier for turning the ad down, saying CNN would “only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats.”
“When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined,” CNN PR tweeted back at Trump Jr. “Those are the facts.”
NBC didn’t appear to have the same hesitations, and people around the country took to social media to voice their frustrations that the network would accept money to air the advertisement despite its message.
The network did not respond to HuffPost’s multiple requests for comment.
So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game. Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) November 5, 2018
This just ran during the third quarter of Sunday night football on NBC https://t.co/H2U36bq4ou
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) November 5, 2018
Some have pointed to an NBC statement from 2015 in which the network cut ties with Trump over his controversial remarks on immigration. The company said at the time that it would no longer broadcast the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, saying “respect and dignity for all people are cornerstone of our values.”
NBC STATEMENT, June 30, 2015:
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.” https://t.co/hSVAWSGnKL
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) November 5, 2018