Despite the pushback NBC received before airing a town hall with President Donald Trump Thursday evening in Miami, Trump is praising the network and numbers thereafter. The issue people had was that it was at the same time ABC scheduled to air their town hall with Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the fact that Trump objected to the idea to move forward with the second presidential debate in a virtual format. The town hall was in replace of the second debate. "Very good reviews on last night's [NBC News] Town Hall in Miami. Thank you!!!" he tweeted.
Very good reviews on last night’s @NBCNews Town Hall in Miami. Thank you!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2020
While the president seems pleased, several Hollywood celebrities and social media users were not. In a letter, which was published by Variety and signed by Ava DuVernay, J.J. Abrams, Domon Lindelof, Aaron Sorkin, several This Is Us cast members, and a number of others addressed to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal chairman Cesar Conde, the Hollywood A-listers wrote they were "devastated" by NBC's decision.
The signees said that while they have "always thought of NBCUniversal as both a terrific creative home and a brand that stands for the best in entertainment and broadcast journalism" this is "not a partisan issue," but rather, "this is about the political health of our democracy."
As a result, several flocked to social media to call for a boycott against NBC News over their decision to hold a town hall with the president. When Trump was offered to hold their second presidential debate virtually — which would have ensured the safety of everyone due to Trump's recent COVID-19 diagnosis — he refused. The event was hosted by Savannah Guthrie in which she led the conversation between the president and Florida voters.
During the town hall, Trump refused to denounce QAnon conspiracy theorists when pushed about the right-wing conspiracy group. When Guthrie asked Trump if he would denounce the group, which she cited "that Democrats have a satanic pedophile ring and you [Mr. Trump] are the savior of that." Trump claimed, "I know nothing about QAnon, I know very little." When Guthrie pointed out, "I just told you," the president fired back, stating, "What you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact."
While it was seemingly a heated exchange all night between the two, social media users felt heated as well following how the network handled the situation.