Alec Baldwin defends 'SNL' Trump sketch amid president's coronavirus diagnosis

The actor said the show takes great pains to stay appropriate

Alec Baldwin defended his decision to reprise his role as President Trump on “Saturday Night Live” following backlash for making fun of him amid his coronavirus diagnosis.

Baldwin was joined by Jim Carrey, who was portraying Joe Biden, for a parody of last Tuesday’s presidential debate. During the sketch, both men made lighthearted jabs at the news that Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. Baldwin also shared a photo of himself in a face mask in full Trump costume prior to the airing to encourage people to watch.

The sketch rubbed some of Trump’s supporters the wrong way, to which Baldwin issued a response in a lengthy video shared on Instagram Sunday. The 62-year-old actor noted that, because people aren’t being told officially that Trump is “gravely ill,” the sketch simply toed the line at worst. He also praised the minds behind “SNL” for historically being cognizant of what is and isn’t appropriate.

“If there was ever the suggestion that Trump was truly, gravely ill, and people said, 'Trump is really in trouble,' then I would bet you everything I have that we wouldn't even get near that, in terms of the content of the show," Baldwin said. "They would have done something else. I've seen that happen before."

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He later added: “We only have the words of the White House itself and the people who work there themselves to go on, and all of them have all been saying he isn’t in any danger. We only have their word to go by and if their word was that he was in serious trouble, then we probably wouldn't have done it."

Baldwin also acknowledged that, although he’s one of Trump's most outspoken critics, the idea of mocking a person that’s suffering from something potentially life-threatening is not something that he or the show would ever get behind.

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“There are a lot of people out there who have the deepest amount of animosity I could possibly calculate in my adult life toward Trump, but there's a line they won't cross,” he said. "They wouldn't say, 'I wish something happened to him,' or that he died, or whatever. And people who do that, that's not the way it should be."

Alec Baldwin defended his decision to play Donald Trump on 'SNL' again. 

Alec Baldwin defended his decision to play Donald Trump on 'SNL' again.  (Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

The actor also commented on the criticism he gets for continuing to be the sketch show’s go-to person to impersonate the president. He noted that he understands that people may be sick of seeing him play Trump or want him to yield the part over to a regular cast member. He doesn’t blame them. However, he also believes there’s more at play than simply not wanting to see his particular comedic Trump impression.

“I think what’s also true is that people are just sick of Trump. They really don’t care who portrays him,” he said. “People have come to the point now when they’re ready to stop laughing about it and stop joking about it and take a serious look, in terms of programming, dramatic programming, scripted programming at what's really going on with him. I assume that if he loses that will be superfluous, but maybe that will continue.”

The star concluded his lengthy video, which also included his thoughts on the current tax code, with a simple line for critics of his latest Trump sketch.

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“If you didn’t like Trump, the sketch, sorry,” he concluded. “We thought we kept the gloves on.”