Harvard professor and Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig filed an air time request last weekend to NBC so that he can have equal air time with the current front runner, Hillary Clinton.
In a statement made to CNNMoney, Lessig’s campaign counsel Adam Bonin said, “We’re not trying to get Larry onto ‘Saturday Night Live,’ of course — we just want to protect his equal right to speak to viewers.”
“Since 1927, the law has said that when a network gives one candidate free airtime, outside of its news coverage, it has to allow a comparable opportunity to other candidates,” Bonin continued. “These are the public’s airwaves, after all.”
According to Federal Communications Commission rules, candidates can request equal time when broadcast stations have a rival on the their air.
After Clinton’s appearance on SNL last weekend, NBC sent a memo to its affiliates warning them that they may be receiving air time requests in the future from other candidates. Lessig sent his air time request to NBC’s top 35 affiliates plus those in states with early presidential primary elections. (RELATED: ‘Saturday Night Live’ Proves The Only Thing Worse Than One Hillary Is Two Of Them)
Despite the denial, it looks like there could be an SNL appearance in the future for Lessig.
The 2016 election has sparked more interest regarding the equal time rules because Donald Trump is set to host “SNL” on November 7. Other GOP candidates could ask for the equivalent opportunity.