Funny? Not Funny.
Eric Adams has been in office a mere two weeks and the media has already begun shaping a stereotypical narrative around the city’s second African American mayor.
For the first few minutes of the “Saturday Night Live” parody of Mayor Adams, I tried to give the skit a default pass, however as the crude and crass jokes continued, my unease morphed into discomfort and quickly turned into rage.
This was a 21st century minstrel show: the same old stereotype dressed up for so-called Progressives on national television.
Let’s deconstruct what depths “SNL” sunk to:
New York City is facing a number of challenges and arguably those challenges have become exacerbated as a result of the disastrous policies and questionable dedication of the outgoing mayor. Crime is on the rise, homelessness is pervasive, and the school system seems to be on its last legs with attendance barely breaking 50% in many of the city’s schools.
These are daunting problems and many New Yorkers have looked to the new mayor, a former policeman, as someone who will turn the page and offer the city a positive role model with a fresh perspective on the issues the city faces.
It is into this new beginning, before the new mayor has gotten a chance to begin implementing policy, that “Saturday Night Live” has inserted this lazy gutter-level spoof that conjures up an episode of the late and unlamented “Amos ’n’ Andy.” Instead of gently chiding and poking fun at Adams, we were given some of the worst examples of shuck and jive that has long been banished from any degree of acceptability.
“SNL” presented the mayor of arguably the most global city in the world as an over-sexed caricature of grandiosity, reducing him to buffoonery before he has the chance to begin tackling the daunting problems the city faces.
The key theme revolved around the new mayor’s “swagger,” a term that not only connotes an anti-intellectual superficiality, but also something truly despicable: a super sexualized Black man:
“You can tell I have swagger. Keeps me healthy. See the city’s been suffering from what I like to call a swag-less existence…I’m muscular, I’m vegan and I get that thang-thang every day before breakfast…”
Let’s not forget, however, that “SNL” is an equal opportunity defamer with its misogynistic treatment of the mayor’s press secretary by West Side Story actress Ariana DeBose. With DeBose, we are given a low rent and over-sexed Jenny from the Bronx, a Latina devoid of any obvious intelligence.
What “SNL” presented was sophomoric and offensive and the producers ought to apologize to a city that could use a bit of hopeful humor as it tries to dig out from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s legacy.
great observation. You can lampoon someone but whether or not you agree with his politics, this was an inaccurate portrayal. They could have joked about his witticisms or nepotism, but he never portrays himself as ghetto or a Buffon.
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