It was clear from the moment that Saturday Night Live brought out Kenan Thompson as Bill Cosby that there was going to be controversy. After all, we’re talking about a man in Cosby who was recently convicted of doing some terrible things. Not only that, but this is the second time that SNL has gone a controversial route in taking on this subject matter; just remember the Brett Kavanaugh sketch from the premiere.
Here’s the question that the series has to wonder: Is it going too far to make light of situations involving sexual assault? It this something that they should really avoid out of sensitivity?
It’s a complicated situation with ultimately, no real clear answer.
There are going to be those out there who find this sort of humor an example of laughing through the pain; for some, trying to make light on difficult, dark situations is cathartic. It’s hard to argue against Thompson’s talent, and his performance as Cosby has always been extraordinary. The sketch did not paint him in a sympathetic light, but the Cosby character was nonetheless a source of laughter.
This is where the controversy then arises: Is having a version of Cosby making people laugh for any reason right now the wrong message to send? Should there be something else that SNL is focusing on within this current climate? For some out there, especially many sexual-assault survivors, this is far from a laughing matter even if the writers / cast members are by no means trying to make light on their situations. The result may be the same.
We’re not looking to enforce one point of view on anyone just because this is a situation where such a thing feels irresponsible. Yet, we do hope SNL has discussions about whether or not these sketches are the right thing to focus on — they bring attention to the issue, but they also do so in a comedic climate.
Related SNL news – Be sure to check out all other coverage of tonight’s episode
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