Last week, Saturday Night Live—and late-night television as a whole—took some heat for avoiding the disturbing sexual assault and harassment allegations against film executive Harvey Weinstein.
To make matters worse, a New York Times report revealed that SNL had prepped multiple bits aimed at Weinstein during the dress rehearsal that didn’t make it to air, and boss Lorne Michaels brushed off the criticism by musing, “It’s a New York thing.” It looked like the entertainment industry refusing to shine a light on its own problems, and, when coupled with the discovery that NBC News (which is run by a Hollywood screenwriter) killed Ronan Farrow’s blockbuster Weinstein exposé, didn’t look good for the Peacock.
Well, as the accusations against Weinstein piled up—with more and more actresses coming forward to tell their horror stories of alleged sexual harassment, abuse, and intimidating at the hands of the Miramax and Weinstein Company movie mogul—SNL decided to finally address the Weinstein scandal on Saturday night, first through a sketch featuring a bunch of women during a New York Film Festival Q&A session discussing Weinstein’s predatory behavior (Kate McKinnon’s Debette Goldry among them), and then more pointedly during Weekend Update.
“Apple has announced that it will add hundreds of new emojis to its iOS system including a person at a spa, a vomiting face, and a shushing finger—finally giving emoji fans the ability to describe what it was like to work for Harvey Weinstein,” cracked co-anchor Colin Jost.
He continued: “Weinstein, who’s been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, is reportedly going to Europe for sex rehab. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to help anybody. He doesn’t need sex rehab, he needs a specialized facility where there are no women, no contact with the outside world, metal bars, and it’s a prison.”
Weinstein is actually at a spa in Arizona right now for “sex rehab,” and while Jost took some fairly polite jabs at the exec, his co-anchor Michael Che went for the jugular.
“You know, this is a tough spot for a comedian because it’s so hard to make jokes about sexual assault, but it’s so easy to make jokes about a guy that looks like this,” said Che, pointing to a picture of Weinstein. “I mean, he looks like chewed bubble gum rolled in cat hair. Weinstein told reporters that he was seeking help, and then added, ‘We all make mistakes.’ No, man. A mistake is me walking into the wrong bathroom and using it anyway because I was crowning, but you assaulted dozens of women. That’s not a mistake, that’s a full season of Law & Order. Your name’s a verb now, dude—as in, if this guy tries to Weinstein me, I’m going to cut off his little Harvey. Doesn’t he look like a well-dressed skin tag?”