Not Funny: Black America Takes Issue With SNL Coon Democrat Programming On Vaccine Skepticism

Written by Ann Brown
SNL vaccine
Not Funny: Black America Takes Issue With SNL Coon Democrat Programming On Vaccine Skepticism Photo: Actor Daniel Kaluuya poses for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of ‘Queen & Slim’ in London, Jan 28, 2020. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Many Black TV viewers were offended by a pro-vaccine skit that aired over the weekend on Saturday Night Live (SNL) featuring actor Daniel Kaluuya as a game show host and doctor trying to entice Black participants to take the covid-19 vaccine for money.

Black America remains skeptical about the covid-19 vaccine and Black people lag behind in vaccinations despite being disproportionately affected by coronavirus sickness and deaths.

During the SNL vaccine skit, the game show host, “Judas and the Black Messiah” actor Kaluuya, first offered players $500, then $5,000 to get vaccinated. Each time, the players turned down the money. But the skit came off as coonish and degrading as the anti-vaccine excuses given by the Black players were idiotic.

“Man, I don’t need that vaccine,” said one contestant, while the doctor reminded him he was diabetic and had been shot in one lung.

“But I never get sick ’cause I sleep in my socks,” tha player responded.

Some viewers weren’t happy with the skit, judging by the responses left on an SNL tweet.

“Framing the vaccine disparities as a result of Black Americans being ignorant is harmful even if it’s for laughs. It reinforces the narrative that it’s their fault, leading people to ignore the historic and current systemic discrimination in access to health care,” wrote one viewer.

Another called out SNL for making light of Black America’s mistrust of the medical community. “If your writers actually did their research, they’d know that there’s a major distrust between black people and the medical system due to the fact that there is a history of negligence present on the medical field’s side.”

The distrust dates back at least to medical experiments done on Black men from 1932 to 1972 in what came to be known as the “Tuskegee Experiment.” The purpose of the study was to observe the natural history of untreated syphilis, but the Black men who participated in the study were told that they were receiving free health care from the federal government. However, they were not. This is just one incident of Black bodies being used unknowingly for medical experiments.

On Twitter, one user pointed to the show’s lack of diversity for the offensive skit.

“This just goes to show that you can have a ton of Black people involved with making something and still have it come out racist AF. Sometimes “lack of representation” isn’t the only, or even the biggest, problem.”

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