Celebrities Slam NBC's Decision to Hold Trump Town Hall: 'What's Next? Hitler on America's Got Talent?'

After President Donald Trump pulled out of a virtual debate format, he responded to former Vice President Joe Biden's plans to hold a town hall on ABC by hosting his own town hall on NBC at the same time. A number of celebrities have chimed in, criticizing NBC News for holding the president's town hall, including Billy Eichner, who called the network "desperate and disgraceful."

The Billy on the Street host wrote a pair of tweets criticizing the network and calling on other celebrities to do the same. "He's a white supremacist who's helped murder 220,000 Americans. What's next? Hitler on America's Got Talent?" he wrote.

Btw I’m seeing a lot of Hollywood friends on here who jump to comment on everything else who are silent on this. Speak up! This is EXACTLY what got us into this nightmare and why so many people are DEAD. Don’t worry, they’ll still hear ur fucking Peacock pitch.

— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 14, 2020

Eichner wasn't alone in his criticisms levied against the network for hosting Trump. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked the decision in his monologue on Wednesday night. "Trump today announced he will also be doing a town hall but on NBC, and at the same time as Biden's. So now I know what I'm doing: I'm gonna vote for both of them, right? Thanks NBC. First, The Apprentice and now this. Why not a new Bill Cosby special while we're at it," Kimmel remarked.

Even a few actors who work on the network spoke up to slam NBC for holding the town hall. Connecting star Shakina tweeted that the network was hypocritical for airing both her show and the Trump town hall. "I'm disgusted by my home network giving Trump a platform for fear mongering, bigotry & disinformation," she wrote. "Don't praise yourselves for putting a trans woman on primetime then give a platform to someone who wants to abolish my rights."

Honestly shame on @ABC and @NBC, this echo chamber of rhetoric is a root problem in America. These days leading up to the election should be about the exchange and comparison of ideas and policy, not ratings and stoking division. @realDonaldTrump & @JoeBiden should #debate.

— Shakina (@Shakeenz) October 14, 2020

Shakina also attacked ABC for holding the debates, saying the network purposely tried to start a ratings war.

Other celebrities like George Takei and comedian Steve Hofstetter both tweeted about their disapproval. Takei called for people to not give the president the satisfaction of a ratings win, and Hofstetter joked that the network would follow the debate with coverage of its "own funeral."

Don’t watch the Trump Town Hall tomorrow on NBC. Catch the highlights later. Don’t give Trump a ratings win. Pass it on.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 14, 2020

Breaking: NBC to air Trump town hall after he cowardly backed out of the debate, followed by exclusive coverage of the network’s own funeral. #RIPNBC#BoycottTrumpTownHall

— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) October 14, 2020

Over 100 celebrities also signed a letter sent to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal chairman Jeff Shell and NBCUniversal News Group chairman Cesar Conde calling for the network not to air the town hall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Some of the people who signed included Aaron Sorkin, Aubrey Plaza, JJ Abrams, Seth Rogen, Ryan Murphy, and Mandy Moore. "By agreeing to air his town hall as counterprogramming opposite Vice President Biden's town hall on ABC, you are enabling the President's bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public," the letter said. "We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state."

A press contact for NBC News did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Des Moines International Airport on October 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. According to a recent poll, Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden by 6 points in the state. Getty/Scott Olson