SNL criticised over Africa sketch featuring Adele and Kate McKinnon: ‘So inappropriate’

Roisin O'Connor
·3-min read
Heidie Gardner, Adele and Kate McKinnon in the SNL sketch (NBC/screengrab)
Heidie Gardner, Adele and Kate McKinnon in the SNL sketch (NBC/screengrab)

Saturday Night Live has received some criticism for a sketch about three divorced white women promoting tours of Africa to other white women.

Adele, who hosted the latest episode, featured with series regulars Kate McKinnon and Heidi Gardner in the skit about white women moving to Africa to have sex with African men.

It made a number of references to “bamboo”, with McKinnon citing “the tribesmen” as a highlight.

While the trio presented the skit, a number of black men were seen escorting white women in the background.

The skit was criticised by a number of viewers on social media for its perceived poor taste, particularly given ongoing unrest in Nigeria amid the EndSARS protests.

Just a few days before the SNL episode aired, reports emerged that at least 12 peaceful protesters had been gunned down by soldiers in Lagos.

“I don’t want to be to Think Piece Twitter but with all the civil unrest taking place on the continent, this Africa skit is so inappropriate,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.

Lecturer and writer Ameer Hasan Loggins tweeted to the 63,000 followers of his LeftSentThis account: “I actually teach about the horrors of white people traveling the world and having sex with poor Black folks in the Caribbean and in Africa. #SNL just did a comedy sketch about it.”

“Something about #SNL choosing to do a skit about Africa, when we’ve been fighting for all of Africa this week does not sit well with me,” one viewer said.

Chantal Rochelle, like many viewers, enjoyed Adele breaking character during the skit but added: “Who greenlit that Africa sketch? I have questions…”

Another viewer said: “So I’m curious who wrote the #SNL Africa skit and how it made the cut this week. I’m all for cutting edge humor but nothing felt right about it at all.”

“The SNL Africa sketch felt kinda tone deaf if I’m being honest,” a fellow audience member agreed.

Another said: “I’m the biggest proponent for the clever and incredible writers and staff of SNL but from the start, the Africa skit made me cringe. I think that creating satire to prove a point can be meaningful but this approach was straight up problematic.”

One fan commented: “Adele breaking for that Africa skit was the only thing that made it funny.”

The Independent has contacted an NBC representative for comment.

Adele took part in a number of sketches during the episode, including one where she and series regular Pete Davidson played a couple visiting her grandmother (Maya Rudolph) with Covid-19 restrictions in place.

In another, she and a group of friends visited a psychic (McKinnon) who predicted what they would be doing in 2020.

Read our review of Adele’s SNL episode here.

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