White confusion over blackface is the punchline in this ‘SNL’ sketch about Virginia
Saturday Night Live turned its attention to Virginia on Feb. 9, the first episode since controversy gripped the state.
It’s been a tough time for Virginia and its duly elected leaders. The state’s Democratic governor, Democratic attorney general, and top Republican in the state Senate have all admitted to wearing blackface at some point in their lives.
(Technically, Governor Ralph Northam claims he didn’t do it, and that he wasn’t in an offensive photo on his own college yearbook page featuring one man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam’s lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is also facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and may soon be forced out of office. Virginia’s kind of a mess right now.)
Back to the sketch: Kenan Thompson is a state ethics officer looking to find any other blackface controversies-in-the-making. The all-white room of state officials he’s meeting with isn’t just 100% guilty; they also parrot the worst examples of white justification for wearing blackface (it’s never OK, folks).