Saturday Night Live delivers a low blow

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The Italian American One Voice Coalition placed “Saturday Night Live,” Executive Producer Lorne Michaels and the SNL writing staff in the One Voice Hall of Shame. The placement followed a blatantly anti-Italian comedy skit on a recent SNL.

“The slurs used during this so-called comedy skit have not been heard on network TV in decades and should not be heard ever again on any broadcast medium — or anywhere,” said One Voice president Doctor Manny Alfano. “It baffles me as to how this skit was even included in the show and how Executive Producer Lorne Michaels allowed it to air!”

The so-called “Tenement Skit” depicted an immigrant Polish family from the turn of the last century talking about achieving success in the U.S. During the skit Italian Americans were blatantly denigrated with the use of racist slurs that were meant to be funny. The skit also insulted all Polish Americans who were depicted as racist.

“This kind of racism disguised as comedy subtly reinforces worn out stereotypes about Italian-Americans and has no place in today’s society. I can only imagine how our Jewish or African American friends, or any ethnicity for that matter, would feel if there were so viciously attacked,” said Dr. Alfano. “We are asking NBC, Mr. Michaels, the producers and writers of SNL to issue an immediate apology.

To make matters worse the episode was seen live coast-to-coast for the first time ever which did not allow the skit to be edited out of later showings on the West Coast.

“Let’s be clear,” says Dr. Alfano, “When a show like SNL — which is especially popular with younger Americans — allows these kinds of disgusting slurs to air it perpetuates the notion that somehow Italian Americans are uncouth. Shame on you NBC!”

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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One comment

  1. As an educator, I hear children’s comments daily, reflecting their exposure to all forms of media. I witness their perceptions and interactions with each other first hand. It doesn’t take much to steer them in the wrong direction. I agree with Dr. Alfano that these kinds of skits have no place on TV and are powerful in a very negative way. Sometimes SNL takes things too far and often in their desperation to be funny, the writers launch some bizarre material.

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