“Saturday Night Live” is increasingly being urged to apologize and potentially face official investigation for its insensitive sketch that trivialized university presidents’ failure to denounce calls for the genocide of Jews.
Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, a historian at the University of Haifa in Israel, expressed her dismay on Twitter, questioning NBC’s stance on antisemitism in comedy.
Historian criticizes NBC for antisemitism in comedy, calls for FCC investigation
“This is really appalling,” she wrote, “NBC, do you think antisemitism is acceptable as the punchline of a joke about American society?” Hirschhorn also called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate the matter.
The sketch, aired on Saturday, humorously depicted U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) challenging university leaders over their failure to denounce calls for the genocide of Jews on campuses.
Critics slam SNL’s sketch on antisemitism, demand apology and accountability
Business attorney Krista Nicole, in response, criticized SNL’s approach. “After a day of much-deserved backlash, one would think SNL would delete this video and apologize for their antisemitism,” she posted, adding, “What is so funny about Elise Stefanik calling out antisemitism? What a slap in the face to Jews everywhere.”
Lionel, a podcaster, expressed his approval of the public’s reaction to the skit. “I’m overjoyed with what appears to be an avalanche of common sense and radical good taste in calling out obvious bulls–t,” he said, and critically remarked, “SNL has been in the imposter status as a comedy show for decades. It’s time for Lorne Michaels to apologize. And disappear.”
Controversy over SNL sketch on Stefanik’s antisemitism inquiry
The New York Post reportedly contacted “Saturday Night Live” for a statement regarding this issue.
The contentious SNL sketch featured Chloe Troast, a newcomer, portraying Stefanik.
It recreated a scene from a recent House Education Committee hearing, where Stefanik had grilled the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT.
In the sketch, Troast, imitating Stefanik, aggressively questions the presidents, demanding, “Antisemitism — yay or nay?” and “Is calling for the genocide of Jews against the code of conduct for Harvard?”
SNL sketch sparks backlash for mocking antisemitism inquiry
Troast’s character further remarked, “I am here today because hate speech has no place on college campuses. Hate speech belongs in Congress, on Elon Musk’s Twitter, at private dinners with my donors, and in public speeches by my work husband, Donald Trump.”
The sketch was immediately criticized online for its perceived antisemitic tone. Radio host Mark Simone responded, “Only a hate-filled, anti-Semitic SNL could do a sketch about the anti-Semitic college presidents testifying in front of Congress and make the questioner Congresswoman Stefanik the target of the sketch.”
Similarly, Meghan McCain expressed her concern, highlighting the rise in antisemitic hate crimes and criticizing SNL’s insensitivity. “This is vile,” she stated, “Vile.”
SNL incident highlights tension between satire and sensitivity in comedy
This incident with SNL brings to the forefront the delicate balance between satire and sensitivity in comedy, particularly regarding topics as serious as antisemitism.
The backlash reflects a growing public intolerance for humor that trivializes or misrepresents serious societal issues.
With calls for apologies and investigations, the sketch serves as a reminder of the responsibility media platforms bear in shaping public discourse and the need for thoughtful, respectful comedy.