“Saturday Night Live” is receiving a backlash for a recent sketch about vaccinations in the black community.
This week’s episode featured “Judas and the Black Messiah” actor Daniel Kaluuya as the host, who opened his monologue with a joke about racism in the British royal family. After that, he participated in a skit that now has some doctors and people within the black community crying badly.
The sketch showed Kaluuya playing a doctor and the host of a game show titled “Will You Take It?” In it, his family members, played by cast members Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim and Punkie Johnson, were offered large sums of money simply to agree to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the sketch, Kaluuya’s character begins by offering his four family members $ 500 to simply get vaccinated. As the sketch progresses, the total eventually reaches $ 20,000, but it is never enough to dampen your family member’s doubts about taking the vaccine despite the fact that close to 100 million people in the U.S. have had it. administered the dose.
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A family member points out that he will start doing it when the whites start taking the photo. When informed that many people have received the injection, he paradoxically points out that “white people cannot be trusted.”
The character’s aunt refuses a dose because she says she read on Facebook that Christians cannot be vaccinated. Meanwhile, another relative reveals that he would do various things that are not favorable to the coronavirus, such as large gatherings, if he won the prize money, but still refused to get vaccinated despite being extremely high risk.
As Insider points out, it wasn’t long before some doctors mocked the sketch for painting a negative representation of the black community and undermining the work being done to spread awareness and availability of the vaccine in communities that they say CDC reports have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“How is this play aired?” Dr. Uché Blackstock, the founder of Advancing Health Equity, tweeted in response to the sketch. “It is deeply problematic to make fun of black people who reject the vaccine, especially without any context, past and ongoing racism inside and outside health institutions. Everyone should know better by now.”
Emergency medicine physician Benjamin Thomas noted that many in the black community have no doubts, but that the vaccine is not available in their area.
“This is *% t aint fun, @nbcsnl Playing with stereotypes and generalizations is a dangerous game, especially when 75,000 black lives have been lost to # COVID19.” he wrote. “Surveys show that more than 80% of blacks want the vaccine. Access to the vaccine >>> Vaccination to the vaccine.”
“This parody is irresponsible as it further perpetuates vaccine disparities because black Americans are ignorant to laugh at it and portrays black healthcare providers as manipulators.” doctor Krys Foster wrote on Twitter. “The more I think about it, the more my stomach turns.”
Medical experts weren’t the only ones upset by the “SNL” sketch, and many viewers took to Twitter to express their discontent with the representation of the black community on the show.
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“Since my own governor pushed the narrative that people in my predominantly black county just don’t want the vaccine, this was not the best parody to run on a show like SNL,” he added. a spectator wrote.
“There are A LOT of people, not JUST blacks, who are skeptical of the vaccine, why was it necessary to focus only blacks? This could have easily included many other SNL cast members as well, by doing so the writing , the vibes, all about it, it was racist, ” added another person.
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“I was angry about the SNL sketch because I follow several black doctors who have worked tirelessly to bring accurate information about vaccines to black communities. It was a low shot, no pun intended.” pointed a third person.
“Wealthy whites are reaching out to black neighborhoods to get the limited amount of vaccines we have and SNL plays on racist stereotypes …” another wrote.
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As of Tuesday morning, the new coronavirus has infected more than 131,843,435 people in 192 countries and territories, resulting in at least 2,861,677 deaths. In the US, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 30,785,415 illnesses and at least 555,615 deaths.