“Saturday Night Live” captures setbacks for a recent sketch of vaccine hesitation within the black community.
This week’s episode tapped “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. Then he participated in a sketch that now has some doctors and people within the black community crying badly.
The sketch featured Kaluuya playing a doctor and hosting 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, only to agree to take the COVID-1
In the drawing, Kaluuya’s character begins by offering his four family members $ 500 to simply take the vaccine. As the sketch goes on, the total amount eventually reaches $ 20,000, but it is never enough to dampen his family members’ hesitation to take the vaccine despite the fact that nearly 100 million people in the United States have been given the dose.
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A family member notices that he starts doing it when white people start taking the shot. When he is told that many people have been shot, he paradoxically notices “you can not trust white people.”
The character’s aunt rejects a dose because she says she read on Facebook that Christians cannot take the vaccine. Meanwhile, another relative reveals that he would do more non-coronavirus-friendly things like big gatherings if he won the prize money but still refused to take the vaccine despite being extremely high-risk.
As Insider notes, it did not take long before some doctors spotted the sketch to paint a negative portrayal of the black community as well as undermine the work of spreading vaccine awareness and accessibility in communities that the CDC reports have been disproportionately affected by pandemic.
“How did this shit get in the air at all?” Dr. Uché Blackstock, the founder of Advancing Health Equity, tweeted in response to the sketch. “It’s deeply problematic – to make fun of black people rejecting the vaccine, especially without any connection – past and ongoing racism inside and outside healthcare facilities. You should all know better now.”
Emergency physician Benjamin Thomas noted that many in the black community do not hesitate, but that the vaccine is not available in their area.
“This is not fun, @nbcsnl Playing on stereotypes and generalizations is a dangerous game, especially when 75,000 black lives have been lost to # COVID19,” he wrote. “Polls show that over 80% of black people want the shot. Vaccine access >>> Vaccine monitoring.”
“This sketch is irresponsible as it further perpetuates differences in vaccines due to black Americans being unaware of a good laugh and portraying black health care providers as manipulative,” Dr. Krys Foster wrote on Twitter. “The more I think about it, the more my stomach becomes.”
Medical experts were not the only ones who got upset by the “SNL” sketch, where many viewers took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the show’s portrayal of the black community.
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“Given my own governor pushed the narrative that people in my predominantly black county just don’t want the vaccine, this was not the best move to run on a show like SNL,” one viewer wrote.
“There are a lot of people, not just black people, who are skeptical of the vaccine. Why was there only a need to center black people? This could easily have included many other members of the SNL cast by also writing it, the vibes, everything about it was racist, ”added another person.
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“I was angry AF over the SNL sketch because I follow a series of black doctors who have worked tirelessly to get accurate vaccine information to black communities. It was a cheap shot, no pun intended,” a third person remarked.
“Wealthy white people are entering black neighborhoods to get the limited amount of vaccines we have, and SNL is playing on racist stereotypes …” wrote another.
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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 United States, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, consistent with more than 30,785,415 diseases and at least 555,615 deaths.