Alec Baldwin defends portraying Trump on 'SNL' premiere after viewer backlash

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Alec Baldwin has defended playing Donald Trump on the premiere of the new season of Saturday Night Live over the weekend while the U.S. president battles coronavirus in hospital.

The 62-year-old portrayed the current POTUS on the show on Saturday, with his Cold Open sketch mocking the first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

However, while Baldwin’s skits as Trump have been well-received in the past, Saturday’s episode was met with backlash from some viewers – due to the fact that the president is currently being cared for in hospital while battling COVID-19.

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The star addressed the backlash in a lengthy video on his Instagram page on Sunday, in which he said: “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. They would have done something else. I’ve seen that happen before.”