Does “SNL” Think Domestic Violence Against Tiger Woods Is Funny?
I had uncomfortable feelings about this “Saturday Night Live” skit where Kenan Thompson and Blake Lively make fun of Elin Nordegren allegedly beating up Tiger Woods. Ever since the Woods/Nordegren shiz-nit went down over Thanksgiving, I’ve been noodling a blog post about how I’ve heard and read nothing condemning Nordegren’s what-sounds-a-lot-like domestic violence against her husband and the fact that he seems to be covering for her. Admittedly, anti-violence groups and the media might be keeping quiet about this for a reason: Woods has not admitted anything publicly. He has buckets of money and probably wouldn’t hesitate to sue all our asses off for slander if we publicly conjecture his wife beat him. So we’re all keeping our mouths shut! The problem with that, though? We’re passively accepting Woods’ version of events through our silence and it sounds like we’re saying woman-on-male violence is OK. Which it isn’t.
Then “SNL” barged right ahead with a skit poking fun at what they called B.S. on domestic violence. Even it if was kinda awkward to laugh at it since Rihanna was the musical guest, everyone still chuckled at the way Lively’s character beat up Thompson’s character throughout the skit. We all know if Woods had allegedly hit Nordegren, it’s less likely “SNL” would make a joke about it. So isn’t that a double standard?
Yes, it is a double standard. And it’s politically incorrect. But it was still really funny.
The skit takes place during a press conference and Lively’s character beats up Thompson’s character and sends him to the hospital three or four times throughout the skit. By the end, Thompson’s character is making cracks about how “deceptively” strong his wife is and holding up signs saying “Help me.” Without the real-life Nordegren/Woods context, this skit would be unfunny and in poor taste because domestic violence in and of itself isn’t funny, of course. What it all comes down to is satire and what’s being satirized is the silence and how the public seems to be passively accepting Woods’ version of that night’s events.
Ultimately, I thought the skit was pretty funny as satire. It wasn’t offensive; it was ballsy for poking fun at what everyone’s thinking but no one has said. And let’s be clear about what satire is: it’s making fun of something which often isn’t funny to underscore the wrongness or ridiculousness of it all. And who among us doesn’t think the fact that Elin Nordegren possibly chased Tiger Woods with a golf club is wrong and ridiculous?
I’m going to prove my point about satire by showing you a video clip of a politically incorrect skit that didn’t work. Lively and Thompson did another skit later in the show about a black mother and daughter who go shopping at a high-end clothing boutique; Lively’s character is wearing a wig and long, hot pink acrylic nails. Both of them speak in a sort of Southern-accented Ebonics and do “booty dances” throughout the skit:
Kind of falls into the category of minstrel show, right? What’s being satirized here? Black people? Low-income black people? It was just a stupid and offensive skit; the satire was either really unclear or non-existent. Racist, you might say. That, to me, is not funny at all.
Anyway, as far as we Frisky bloggers go, I’m the one who is most often accused of being the “PC police.” It’s true. I do tend towards political correctness a lot of the time. But in the case of “SNL”‘s Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren skit, I think we all need to put our thinking caps on. Do that, and you may just laugh.