As Donald Trump prepares to walk onto the Saturday Night Live stage, Latino protesters and their allies are readying to march from Trump Tower to SNL's studios to denounce his appearance on the show.
The "Marcha to Stop the Hate", as organizers are calling it and the rally before the show, are being staged by organizers who say they want to demonstrate to SNL's creators and NBC, the network that carries the show, that many Latinos see his appearance as condoning Trump's views, which they label as hate speech and racism. Several of the organizers had a call with the press on Friday.
It’s the second protest that groups have held; another one Wednesday evening drew about 30 protesters and organizers handed NBC a petition signed by over 500,000 asking for SNL and NBC to "disinvite" Trump. Organizers of Saturday’s march say they expect a larger crowd this weekend.
Protesters are unhappy that NBC, which cut business ties with Trump over the language he used regarding Mexicans in his speech declaring his presidential bid, is allowing him to host SNL.
“Immigrants, Latinos, supporters do not deem Trump’s appearance on SNL and NBC’s backtracking as funny,” said Juan Escalante, who drafted the #RacismIsntFunny petition that has received more than 500,000 signatures.
In addition, groups are trying to communicate with cast members their concerns with Trump’s appearance, said Escalante and Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Saturday Night Live has consistently declined to comment on the protests.
Escalante said he and other groups are urging people, in addition to the protests and petitions, use their vote to defeat Trump.
“The fight isn’t over just because Saturday Night Live has Trump as a host. The fight will continue into 2016 to make sure we continue to hold those accountable who are willing to give a platform for hatred and for racism.”
Others also have been protesting Trump’s appearance and his rhetoric.
In an interview with Yahoo News Live, actor and writer John Leguizamo expressed his anger over Trump hosting SNL.
“I find it hurtful and insulting, and you’re celebrating someone who has said some horrible things. I find it unacceptable. I will not watch … I won’t watch ‘SNL’ anymore,” Leguizamo said.
In addition, 67 Latino intellectuals, artists, scientists, writers and filmmakers from the U.S., Latin America and Spain denounced Trump’s comments in a joint statement.
The intellectuals, many who are immigrants, said his speech “recalls historical campaigns against other ethnic groups that led to millions of deaths.”
Critics have tied Trump’s rhetoric and that of other candidates to aggressive action against protesters, harassment and in some cases violence.
Two brothers who beat a homeless man who is Mexican and partly attributed the beating to Trump's immigration views have been indicted, according to reports.
Maria Alcivar, an Iowa State student and activist, said in the call that it’s clear Trump’s rhetoric has spread to the campus. Many people have seen a video of a white student ripping the protest sign of a protester at a tailgate party before the Iowa-Iowa State game last month. But Alcivar said many other things occurred that were not captured in video and posted online.
Protesters had a poster that read “Students Against Bigotry” that quickly drew a crowd and were subjected to “four hours of this constant hate speech and constant racism towards us,” she said.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter several days ago to Saturday Night Live and NBC, asking them to "disinvite" Trump.
The CHC statement said Trump's rhetoric "demonizing Latinos and immigrants has created fear within these communities around the country, many of which are represented in Congress by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus."