SNL’s take on Ferguson protests

Cecily Strong (left) and Kenan Thompson (right) discussing recent events in Ferguson during the opening scenes of the “Morning News” skit. SNL has been known for some controversial skits including ones on the recent NFL scandals and ISIS.

In early December of 2014, SNL filmed a dress rehearsal for a skit called “Morning News” which poked fun at the events occurring in Furgeson.

In this skit, Kenan Thompson (Kip) and Cecily Strong (Jenny) play fictional co-anchors on a St. Louis morning news show, Rise And Smile. This episode of Rise And Smile takes places a couple of days after the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. After the statement from the Grand Jury was released, riots erupted throughout Ferguson and across the nation.

Kip began the show by asking Jenny how her weekend was to which she responded, “I spent it holding a fireplace poker protecting my property, so why don’t we skip the chit-chat and talk about some weekend events.” After her response, it was clear that Kip and Jenny wanted nothing more than to avoid talking about the Ferguson riots.

The rest of the news show was filled with tension and dry racial humor, such as the line to “only use the white of the egg,” stated by Chef Darryl (guest star James Franco) on his cooking segment.

After watching the skit a couple of times, one of Jenny’s first lines “I spent it holding a fireplace poker protecting my property”, is something that really stuck out to me. The quote exemplifies the fact that some people were scared of the Furgeson mobs destroying the city, showing that these protests had a very negative impact on citizens and the city itself. “Protesters” claimed that it was their “first amendment right” to protest and that they need to protest in order to preserve the memory of Michael Brown. While it is their right to peacefully protest, trying to burn a city to the ground is not. Police brutality won’t end if people create more violence.

What makes this skit even more interesting is that it is known as a “Cut For Time” skit. This means the producers of SNL were unable to place it in the live showing. Time was most likely not the only factor contributing to its removal from the live show.

If the skit had been placed in the live showing, the episode could’ve been one of the most controversial and popular episodes in SNL history.

1 Comment on "SNL’s take on Ferguson protests"

  1. This is gross and racist and should be taken down | January 31, 2015 at 6:12 pm |

    Wow, what a disappointing read. You clearly have no understanding of gross and pervasive institutionalized racism, which leads me to believe you are a young/inexperience writer, uninformed, white, ignorant, and too blinded by your own privilege (or understand your own privilege for that matter) to understand what Ferguson/Black Lives Matter protests are actually about. It also irritates me that, after all these months, this is what the paper says about Ferguson, really? There were so many other opportunities for better writers to cover better, more interesting stories with better claims, it’s sad, really. You clearly buy into the media-orchestrated idea that citizen violence is some sort of legitimate threat, you’re probably the kind of person who would retweets #Alllivesmatter because you lack the depth to understand that it’s actually not all lives being slaughtered. And you focus on an awkward, distasteful, mildly racist SNL clip, and not the actual, underplayed problem of police brutality. This article is unorganized, biased, untimely, bad, and underdeveloped. You’re probably just starting out and took a topic far out of your depth, and it shows. Your use of quotes and bold font over what seems to be either ironic or upsetting to you clearly reveals your racist biases. Although I have the feeling that whoever posted this wouldn’t understand why this is racist and would claim being discriminated against for being white with an opinion, which solidifies my prior criticisms. Whoever wrote this and let this pass should be embarrassed, although I’m assuming it was passed without much criticism as to not burst your bubble of ignorance because ignorance isn’t ignorance if it’s labelled an opinion. Honestly, I expected better from this paper.

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