Alec Baldwin Defends Playing Donald Trump in 'Saturday Night Live' Season Premiere After Backlash

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Alec Baldwin is addressing some online backlash for his portrayal of President Donald Trump. The actor reprised his impersonation of Trump for Saturday Night Live's season 46 premiere.

Following Baldwin's performance as Trump -- who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, along with First Lady Melania Trump -- Baldwin was met with criticism from many conservatives for making fun of the president's illness.

"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 content of the show," Baldwin said in a lengthy video he shared on Sunday. "They would have done something else. I've seen that happen before."

"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," Baldwin continued. "And if their word was that he was in serious trouble, then we probably wouldn't have done it."

Baldwin's Trump appeared during the Cold Open sketch, which lampooned the first presidential debate. The sketch also marked the premiere of new guest star Jim Carrey, who has signed on to play Joe Biden in the coming weeks leading up to the election.

The sketch itself largely focused on poking fun at the chaotic nature of the debate, as well as Trump's aggressive, interruptive demeanor and Biden's rambling rebuttals. Only a few passing references were made to Trump's illness during the sketch itself.

"We thought the debate was something topical, and we didn't have anything with him in a hospital bed, but we had the debate," Baldwin explained. "You'd have to have a very good reason to avoid that, topicality-wise, and nobody thought that they were mocking somebody's illness by doing that."

"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. 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."

Baldwin -- who has been an outspoken critic of Trump throughout his presidency, and has portrayed him dozens of times on SNL in the last four years -- went on to stress the importance of getting out and voting. He warned of the possibly complacency that comes from possibly misleading poll numbers and stressed the need to exercise the right to voice your choice in the election.

Meanwhile, SNL airs live coast-to-coast on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

For more on the recent premiere, and Baldwin's most recent portrayal of Trump, see the video below.

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