American comedy series Saturday Night Live (SNL) is facing enormous backlash after tweeting a skit in poor taste, suggesting Covid as a means to skip work and take a prolonged leave.
What: The sketch comedy series tweeted a video skit captioned, “thanks, covid” last night. Here’s a look at the skit:
Playing out as a mock medicine infomercial, the skit features the Covid-19 virus as a ‘medically’ prescribed escape from the monotony of everyday living.
Satiring the self-imposed isolations, work from home and other necessary Covid protocol, the skit ends with the performers taking turns ‘thanking’ the virus for the apparent boon that it has been made out to be.
The skit even jokes around Covid being the perfect excuse to get out of a number unwanted circumstances.
No one is laughing: Ever since being tweeted, the skit has generated a tonne of backlash and criticism from the internet, with people calling out SNL for trivialising the otherwise sensitive issue.
That's cool, have you ever considered that not every person in the world is you?— nat towsen (@NatTowsen) November 6, 2022
When it had killed 100,000 of us it was tragic. Now we're up over a million, it's the third leading cause of death in the country, it's still killing 3,000 people a week, and it's a joke? pic.twitter.com/L5q79etncu— Jason Orton (@jasonorton420) November 6, 2022
I'll tell my dead cousins family you think it's funny. There's nothing funny about this.— Teresab (@TeresabDB62) November 6, 2022
This is probably one of the worst segments you've aired.— Duck Duck Goose (@Bburns07146248) November 6, 2022
In Ontario, we've had multiple ERs close because they're at capacity and staff is out of commission. There were 77 deaths reported this week,compared to 106 last week. #covidisnotover
Seriously not funny. Guess that’s why they need the laugh tracks.— Kat Noir (@ireadenergy) November 6, 2022
Hope you’re planning on a follow up pointing out the long term negatives:— Amy C Hamilton (@CivilEngNerd) November 6, 2022
Cardiovascular disease, decrease neurological function, sudden death, vascular issues….long term chronic illness …unemployment, huge debt
And that’s not even touching on the number of people who now have long-term complications from “mild” infections.— Ruby Bell ✵ Chicago’s Love Witch ✵ BLM🏴ACAB🇵🇸 (@RubyBellChicago) November 7, 2022
Honestly I didn’t think SNL could get much worse…..but here we are minimizing covid during a pandemic. Way to go writers. This show has been awful since the 90s.— Ally 10 (@freedumfghtr) November 6, 2022
This is among the most tasteless things you’ve ever done and that’s saying something!— Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) November 6, 2022
Judging by the reactions it would be wise to retract this video and issue an apology.— Sad Robot Zanfr🐧 #zerocovid - Elastomeric or FFP3 (@zanfr) November 6, 2022
Well, seems like some are laughing: A few brave individuals have come out in support of SNL and the skit, commending their humour and satire and dismissing the voices of disapproval altogether.
It's very funny. Love how it is winding up all the right people too.— John Smith (@jdh00001) November 7, 2022
Google satire.— Gus (@gustavdetroch) November 6, 2022
First time I've seen anything on TV mentioning Covid in a long time.— Boziac Killer (@BrightRedStool) November 7, 2022
President says it's over. CDC is killing people. News networks don't report it. An election campaign and it's not an issue.
And we're all mad about a late night TV comedy skit about it?
Make it make sense.
Even SNL gets it. I had a fully vaxed friend test positive and freaking out, 3 days later she was partying for Halloween, admitted it was just a sore throat 🙄— Wesley Byrd (@fly_wesleybyrd) November 6, 2022
The bigger picture: The skit comes during a period of grave unrest on Twitter following the Musk takeover. The new Twitter CEO and sole board member has assured a championing of free speech on the platform henceforth, having overrun many previously suspended accounts and restricted tweets that did not comply with Twitter’s algorithm.
Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.
The SNL skits are taped live in front of a studio audience in New York City. As of today, over 73,000 Covid deaths deaths have been reported in New York alone, with over 4,000 active cases still plaguing the city.