'SNL' covers how Black and White people might view Derek Chauvin trial differently
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“Saturday Night Live” opened this weekend’s show talking about the Derek Chauvin murder trial and the different ways Black and White people might view it.
Chauvin is a former Minneapolis police officer who is accused in the police custody death of George Floyd last year.
The show opened with a fictional Minnesota news program where four co-anchors, two Black and two White, discussed how “emotional” the trial had been so far and how they all felt the prosecution had made a good case for Chauvin’s guilt.
“Hopefully, justice will be served,” cast member Alex Moffat, who is White, said in the sketch.
“That sounds like we all agree. There is no way Derek Chauvin walks away from all of this,” cast member Kate McKinnon, who is also White, agreed.
“Well…” Black cast members Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim answered skeptically, scrunching up their noses at the perception that a White police officer couldn’t game the system.
“And there’s no way the jury is going to fall for that!” McKinnon added, referring to the defense’s argument that Floyd’s drug use could have caused his death.
“I don’t know about that,” Nwodim again hesitated as she and Thompson continued to look doubtfully at their White counterparts.
“Let’s just say, ‘We’ve seen this movie before,'” Nwodim said, explaining their hesitance in believing Chauvin would be convicted.
McKinnon agreed that “historically, police officers have gotten away in other cases like this.”
“Historically?” Thompson questioned. “She means every single time,” Nwodim answered.
Later in the sketch, the co-anchors again disagreed over rioting.
“I think we can all agree that no matter how bad things are, destroying property is never the answer,” Moffat said confidently.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Thompson disagreed. “It’s just property.”
“There’s insurance,” Nwodim agreed dismissively.
Eventually, all four agreed there was a disparity in the way Black people are treated by police and that the country needs concrete solutions.
“And we start with reparations!” Nwodim offered.
“Now, wait just a minute,” Moffat hesitated.
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“That was a good try,” Thompson said to Nwodim, who agreed, “I almost had them.”
By the end of the sketch, the co-anchors couldn’t even agree on who McKinnon was talking about when she said we “lost royalty yesterday” – with the Black anchors believing it was rapper DMX and McKinnon clarifying she meant Prince Philip. Both men died last week.
The panel did find one news story they could all agree on: the investigation into US. Rep. Matt Gaetz’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Later, in the Weekend Update segment, co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to hit Gaetz but also threw some zingers at President Biden, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Jost said he thought it was weird seeing a guy “who’s basically doing a Clint Eastwood impression being pro-gun control,” while showing a photo of Biden with a steely-eyed stare.
“You could put him into ‘Gran Torino’ and no one would know the difference,” Jost joked as a Photoshopped version of Biden packing heat like Eastwood’s cranky character in the 2008 film appeared on the screen.
Jost later joked that Newsom, “who asks his barber for the ‘American Psycho’” haircut, “has announced a complete reopening plan that critics say is just a distraction from the governor’s many scandals.”
He added that it was a “move that had other governors asking, ‘Did it work?’” while a photo of Cuomo, who faces scandals regarding coronavirus nursing home deaths and sexual harassment, appeared on the screen.
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