The promos for Donald Trump’s upcoming hosting stint on Saturday Night Live debuted Wednesday, but the version most viewers will see is missing one major joke from the initial advertisement.
First published and then taken down before a revised version was uploaded, the initial iteration of Trump’s promos featured a joke in which the Republican presidential candidate called fellow candidate Ben Carson a “complete and total loser.” Because of equal-time rules, the joke is that Trump only had a limited amount of time to speak and used his brief moment to take a dig at one of his primary opponents.
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The original version was taken down shortly after being uploaded (though it has been preserved online for those wanting to see the joke), and the new version, viewable below, remains largely identical save for the Carson bit being removed.
Trump’s hosting gig, which was originally supposed to be only one sketch according to the former Apprentice host himself, is set for this weekend with musical guest Sia. Since its announcement, Trump’s hosting has been met with several petitions and protests demanding that NBC “dump Trump.” On Wednesday in New York, advocacy groups like the National Hispanic Media Coalition, MoveOn.org, and National Council of La Raza stood outside of the SNL studio at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York in an effort to sway the network.
“It is shameful for SNL and NBC to think that racism can be repackaged as comedy,” Juan Escalante, digital campaigns manager for America’s Voice, told the AP.
Trump’s appearance on SNL does fall under FCC’s equal access rule, so other Republican candidates are entitled to ask for time — albeit at the station level, EW has confirmed. Trump’s opponents have seven days to ask for equal opportunity from NBC affiliates in states where they are legally recognized as a candidate and have campaigned heavily (like New Hampshire and Iowa). You can read more about equal time and how it can be a nightmare for local stations by clicking here.
NBC declined to comment about Trump’s appearance.