“#FireChuckTodd” and calls to boycott NBC News began Thursday ahead of the network’s town hall with President Donald Trump.
The calls come after reports of frustration and anger among NBC, MSNBC and CNBC “talent and staff” over the network’s decision to host a Trump town hall. ABC News is hosting a town hall for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and NBC’s Trump town hall coincides with this event.
The two town halls come in lieu of a second presidential debate, which was canceled after Trump objected to the debate becoming virtual because of his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. (RELATED: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Takes A Jab At NBC News For Trump Town Hall During Harris Interview)
“#FireChuckTodd” began to trend Thursday morning on Twitter and was amplified by various accounts, according to Newsweek. Todd is NBC’s political director and also moderates the network’s show “Meet the Press.”
“#BoycottNBC” and “#NBCBlackout” were also popular tweets, with many calling for the public to choose Biden’s town hall over Trump’s.
Amid the backlash, NBCUniversal chairman Cesar Conde issued a statement Thursday acknowledging the frustration surrounding the situation. He said that moving the time “would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum,” since the network previously aired a town hall with Biden on October 5 at 8 p.m.
NBCUniversal’s Cesar Conde acknowledges the “frustration” with tonight’s Miami town hall with Trump, but suggests he had no choice due to fairness pic.twitter.com/vgF2jXgHXP
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 15, 2020
An executive at NBC reportedly reached out to an individual at ABC News “to see if ABC would be willing to shift the Biden town hall to 9 p.m.,” CNN’s Brian Stelter previously reported. The network did not budge, according to Stelter.
Both town halls will be airing at the same time on different networks Thursday, despite the backlash from insiders at NBC and viewers.