Every Time 'SNL' Joked About Donald Trump Being Racist, Because It Really Wasn't Funny
2016 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, and Trump participated in plenty of sketches that made jokes at his expense. One uncomfortable theme throughout the episode, though, was the idea that Trump is racist, a joke that happened multiple times. Even though the tone of the punchlines was lighthearted, the jokes were more cringeworthy than funny, especially since Trump has toed the racist line plenty of times in real life already.
Trump's history as a controversial figure on race relations makes the "Trump as a racist" theme a lot less funny than, say, Larry David mocking Bernie Sanders' poor voting support record among African-Americans in the same episode. Sanders has met with Black Lives Matter activists and has spoken about his plans to end racial injustice in the United States if he were elected president, while racial inequality doesn't seem to be a priority for Trump's presidential campaign.
The racist Trump jokes in Saturday Night Live's episode hit a little too close to home for comfort. The jokes were even more awkward when you consider the fact that hundreds of protesters lined up outside NBC's New York studios on Saturday, urging the network not to allow Trump to host the show, alleging that Trump is racist. The protesters' signs featured slogans like "Dump Trump" and "racismisntfunny." To Saturday Night Live, though, it apparently is.
During a sketch that poked fun at Trump's propensity for tweeting about political (and non-political) events, Trump's alleged racism came up multiple times in the same sketch. In one faux-tweet from Trump, the real estate mogul tweeted his praise of SNL cast member Leslie Jones. But his character followed up with a second tweet, with "Trump" tweeting, "I love the blacks." LOL, right? (*rolls eyes*) And in the same segment, "Trump" tweeted the similarities between the words "Kenan" and "Kenyan," hearkening back to Trump's involvement in suggesting President Obama was hiding his birth certificate during his presidential campaign.
The SNL jokes about Trump being racist weren't confined to one sketch, either. In another segment, the show joked that if Trump were elected president, Spanish-language network Telemundo would become an all-English network. The only Trump-as-racist joke that actually bordered on eliciting a reaction came during Trump's opening monologue, when Larry David cut in to yell, "Trump's a racist!" David added, "I heard if they yelled that, they would give me $5,000," referring to a group of protesters that offered the money prize before the show. For a second, it almost felt like someone was actually calling him out.
A joke about Trump's alleged racism would have been understandable for SNL — it's a factor that will likely influence many voters' opinions of him this election season. But SNL took the racism jokes overboard — later in the show, Trump even went so far as to say he's packing heat when Kenan, as a black musical artist, recommended himself as his VP — and the majority of them were completely unnecessary. The episode also did nothing to help Trump's image as a promoter of equality — if anything, it reminded viewers why Trump is such a polarizing figure in the first place.