Trans NBC Star Slams Network for Giving Trump a Platform in Town Hall

Shakina Nayfack has slammed NBC for its newly announced town hall with President Trump.

In a Wednesday Twitter post, the transgender star of NBC’s Connecting said she was “disgusted by my home network” for “giving Trump a platform for fear mongering, bigotry & disinformation.”

“Don’t praise yourselves for putting a trans woman on primetime then give a platform to someone who wants to abolish my rights,” she declared.

NBC News will air a town hall with Trump Thursday in a competition time slot with ABC, which had previously scheduled one with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The pair had scrapped a pre-planned debate for that day after the president tested positive for COVID-19 last week and then refused the terms of a virtual event.

Nayfack cast “shame” on both networks for the town halls. “This echo chamber of rhetoric is a root problem in America,” she said in the Twitter thread. “These days leading up to the election should be about the exchange and comparison of ideas and policy, not ratings and stoking division.”

“Believe it or not, America is not reality television,” said Nayfack, who called on the candidates to have a debate.

Nayfack is known for Hulu’s Difficult People, her one-woman show Manifest Pussy, and Amazon Transparent Musicale Finale. With Connecting, a Zoom-style series about friends in quarantine, Nayfack became the first trans series regular on a prime-time comedy on network television. 

“It feels like a huge honor and a huge responsibility to get right,” she told The Advocate in a recent interview. “And also, I think it is a benchmark in a process of social change that so many other trans artists have forged alongside me and ahead of me. I like to stay away from the narratives of like, you know, ‘first achievement’ and think more about the legacy that we are building together as a community of trans actors fighting for representation for the rest of us out in the world.”


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