‘SNL’ Skewers Award Show Whiteness in Funny Sketch
We don’t even watch Saturday Night Live anymore. Our reasons for that have been documented here and here and here. But after hearing over and over again how the show slammed the Oscars following #OscarsSoWhite, we pulled up Hulu to see the referenced clip. And we were pleasantly surprised.
We had to break ties with SNL because of its tendency to “punch down” instead of “punch up”. The show commonly uses stereotypes as a means to be funny at black folks’ expense. And with the addition of Leslie Jones to the cast, it seemed like every week was another chance to laugh at how black women “can’t find no man.”
However, their strike at the whiteness of awards shows was a perfect depiction of Hollywood’s continued effort to overlook the stellar performances of blacks while championing the mediocre performances of whites. As the clip goes on, the nominees for best actor at a fictional awards show get more and more outlandish, starting first with a play on Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan from Creed. And in the end, who could choose just one winner? It ends up being a 5-way tie with the winners’ card reading “All The White Guys.”
There was no room to misunderstand where SNL was coming from on this. Their targets were clear, and the jabs were sharp and concise. This is how satire is meant to be utilized.
Now, after viewing more clips we quickly realized that this one clip is in no way representative of the show. There was plenty of the “laugh at black folks’ expense” stuff to go around. Still, this shows that SNL does have to potential to be funny without making fun of others’ misfortune, race, gender, or oppression. We won’t hold our breath waiting for them to deliver on that potential.
Watch the clip below and enjoy:
Photo: YouTube screenshot
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