In the episode of Saturday Night Live that aired on Feb. 28, host Dakota Johnson from Fifty Shades of Grey was involved in a controversial sketch called "Father Daughter Ad". In the previously-filmed digital short, Johnson is driven up in front of a building by her dad, played by Taran Killam, who starts saying a tearful goodbye as if he's dropping his daughter off for college or to enroll in the military. But, as the sketch goes on, it becomes clear that the father-daughter pair aren't doing either of those things; instead, the daughter is signing up for ISIS. You know, the rebel group whose reign of terror is currently dominating the news. In the video, a truck emblazoned with slogans and full of masked and bearded men with guns swings into the parking lot, and, as Killam tearily asks them to take care of his daughter, Kyle Mooney mouths back, "Death to America."
It's a lot to take in, and people have been reacting very strongly to it, on both sides of the spectrum. Some are offended by the content, citing the many kidnappings, beheadings, and attacks for which the group has taken responsibility. They don't find any of those details particularly funny — nor should they — and that colors the way they feel about the sketch. But, on the opposite end, there are people who found the sketch not only funny but necessary, who say that, if we can laugh at terrifying elements like ISIS, it weakens some of the power they have over us because it makes us less afraid.
And here's the thing: neither one of these attitudes are wrong. You're absolutely entitled to feel any damn thing you want about it. What are you aren't entitled to do is dictate how other people feel about it. So to that end, why don't you take a look at it and try to figure out where you're landing on this:
How'd that go? Good? Ready to tell a whole bunch of people the right way to feel about this video? TRICK QUESTION. Nobody gets to do that.