Latino Stars Blast ‘SNL,’ Donald Trump for Promoting ‘Hate Speech’

Donald Trump
Erik Pendzich/REX Shutterstock

Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”) and actor Diego Luna are among the dozens of prominent Hispanic figures who signed a joint letter condemning Donald Trump, calling his rhetoric “hate speech,” as protests continue to grow before the GOP presidential candidate’s appearance on “SNL” this weekend.

The letter was published on Univision.com and, according to a Time translation, said Trump’s “hate speech appeals to lower passions like xenophobia, machismo, political intolerance and religious dogmatism. All of which inevitably reminds us of the past campaigns that have been directed against other ethnic groups and that have resulted in the deaths of millions of people. In fact, the physical aggressions against Hispanics and repeated calls to prohibit the public use of the Spanish language have already started.”

Trump is scheduled to host “Saturday Night Live” this week amid calls by some Hispanic groups for NBC to cancel the appearance. A number of organizations, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, sent a joint letter to “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels on Wednesday, urging him to pull Trump from the show.

“There is a place for people and politicians with racist viewpoints to express their opinions in news programs and interviews,” the letter stated. “‘Saturday Night Live’ is not a news entity, it is a pop culture giant, and should not be in the business of giving acceptance and legitimacy to the views of a racist extremist by having him host a  program. To do so is insensitive and will contribute to the wave of bigotry he is creating.”

Actor John Leguizamo told Yahoo, “I won’t watch ‘SNL’ anymore,” in response to Trump’s appearance. “”I’m all for freedom of speech, don’t get me wrong. I believe in freedom of speech. This is different,” he said. “If he had said those things about any other ethnic group he would not be on that SNL. I mean I find SNL to do that and NBC. I find it really insulting. I find it hurtful and insulting and you’re celebrating somebody who has said some horrible things. I find it unacceptable. I will not watch.”

Iñárritu, director of the upcoming film “The Revenant,” and Luna were joined by other figures in the letter such as author Junot Díaz and former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhán.