FCC Complaints Show Trump Fans Demanding SNL Be Made a Safe Space for Them

By all means, read 360 pages of people demanding the federal government cancel Saturday Night Live.
July 13, 2021, 1:00pm
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Image: NBC scrreengrab

The people raging against cancel culture have spent the last four years demanding that the federal government cancel Saturday Night Live for being mean to Donald Trump, according to a cache of official complaints lodged with the Federal Communications Commission. 

Obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and hosted on Government Attic, the complaints about NBC, SNL, and various comedians paint a mesmerizing picture of an America obsessed with demanding government intervention to stop comedians from making mean jokes or saying curse words.

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“Cancel Culture has to be stopped, but you can not allow on any broadcast the depiction /insinuation/out right demonstration of a leader of the United States being assassinated,” one viewer wrote in 2019 after Michel Che delivered a John Wilkes Booth joke during weekend update.

"I'm personally all for freedom of speech; and if a 33 year old woman feels that making fun of a 10 year old boy empowers her and gives her equality, well, I don't agree with it, but if that's what she needs to get her through the night, so be it," another complainer wrote. "I, however, don't need to see this moron or the network, NBC that's supporting her, prosper from it. And considering I now pay for these once free networks on my cable bill I would like for you to consider revoking their license, or substantially fining them."

The complaints are of varying length and coherence but the vast majority of them focus on a few SNL moments over the last few years: Michael Che calling Trump a "bitch" and a "cracker"; Alec Baldwin-as-Trump being mean to Trump; SNL writer Katie Rich making a joke on Twitter about Barron Trump being "the next homeschool shooter;" and Stephen Colbert making a joke about Trump's mouth being Vladimir Putin's "cock holster." 

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“SNL aired a racist statement on their weekend update segment, calling Trump a bitch and a cracker -which is a highly racist term for whites,” one person said. “I find all racism to be highly inappropriate and offensive. Also calling the President a bitch is not comedy that should be aired on TV.”

Here's a sampling of the complaints:

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“Michael Che referred to the President as a ‘cracker.’ This racial slur is offensive to every non-racist American regardless of race, ethnicity, or skin color.”

“Calling a white man a ‘Cracker’ is the same thing as calling a black mana ‘[the n-word]’ as far as I'm concerned.  What are you going to do about it?”

"This show and Che need to be highly penalized and given further instruction on possible future infractions."

"On the 9/30/17 broadcast of Saturday Night Live, during the news report segment, the person reading the news used a racial slur 'cracker' in regards to President Trump. This is wholly inappropriate and I would appreciate a response wherein you detail exactly what will be done re punishment to the person that said it and the production company that aired it. They are on a tape delay specifically to be able to catch things like this and they allowed it to go over the air. This makes them complicit in the act. Thank you and have a nice day"

"Blatant sexual innuendo to masturbation has completely crossed the line into obscenely disrespectful comments about President Trump. Effective immediately I will boycott all advertisers on NBC and communicate my outrage to each and every one of them. I am also sending this complaint to the FCC for immediate follow-up."

"Even comedians such as CNN's use of a SNL skit is being used to insult a President of the United States. This is awful," another complainer wrote. "In my younger days, networks and broadcasters feared (and followed) FCC rules on their content as these rules protected the public from the trash we now have. They were careful not to offend because we have laws."

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“SNL continues to use racial terms which incites violence and hate speech. SNL should be removed from television completely for being racist.Example: calling white people ‘crackers.’”

“What happened on SNL last Saturday where they called Trump a 'cracker' and a 'bitch' is completely unacceptable. To see if it's acceptable, simply think if someone said that about President Obama. How can people keep getting away with this indecency?”

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There are a few people mad at Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression. “nearly every late now comedy show is biased against Donald Trump especially Saturday Night Live Alec Baldwin, they'd be silent if Hillary Clinton won, I hear nothing mocking the Democrat leadership, they are doing more to divide America than the President elect,” said a Missouri complainer in 2017.

Another watershed moment that sent people rushing to complain was Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden saying “goddamn.” This moment pass most of America by without a second thought, but it enraged a certain kind of SNL viewer.

“NBC ran a Saturday Night Live Election Special on Monday evening, November 2nd. One of the skits had Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden and Alec Baldwin playing President Trump. It was a funny skit and my wife and I were laughing at some of the lines until Jim Carrey uttered an obscenity by taking the Lord's name in vain,” one viewer from Mississippi told the FCC. “I told my wife that there was no reason for him to use that language. It didn't add anything to the skit. These words are deeply offensive to me and I'm sure that other people of faith feel the same way.”

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They did, and they wrote about it. “Please tell me that you will look into this matter as we have enough negative in this world today to deal with, without this type of family programming to be polluted in this fashion,” another said, fundamentally misunderstanding the point of SNL.

“It was Saturday night and I just got home from my second job, waitressing, and my daughter and I were headed to bed. And he said it so loudly and with such emphasis that my daughter looked at me like, ‘what was that?’” A woman in North Carolina said. “I turned off the TV immediately and the next day, searched the internet to see if that had created an uproar as I thought it would. But it had not. I didn't think such words were allowed on TV.”

David Chapelle hosted SNL after Trump’s loss and delivered a memorable and incendiary opening monologue. Like Carrey’s “Goddman,” it was poorly received. “Chappelle launched into one of the most racist screeds I have ever heard on broadcast television. He specifically denigrated and demeaned an entire race, (Whites), numerous times during his monologue,” a viewer said.

“He called white people Klansman and referred to them as racists. They portrayed all white people as bosses and human resources as racists against black people.  There are too many issues to even list,” another said.

Not every NBC complaint from the past few years was about SNL’s language. Others had different problems with the show. “Watching  Sunday Night (Afternoon football) 4:30pm HST and inappropriate SNL commercial showing a person chewing food and then spitting depositing it into someone else’s mouth,” the viewer said. “Nothing that is appropriate for children to see and definitely nothing most adults would want to.”

Another complaint: “Just because a guy has an accent doesn’t make him a replacement for Craig Ferguson. Corden is unbearable. Not funny. Not watchable. The show is a major disappointment,” one astute viewer said. “And what the heck are you doing with Colbert? His format is a total sleeper. Grown man dancing with a band that has zero personality? No monologue. Where are all the great comedy writers? WHO is writing this dreck?”