There once was a time Saturday Night Life brought joy to the wider public, but those were the days where politics made the skits on very rare occasions.
However, SNL is well-known by the very fact that you can never foresee on what’s to come.
The utter shock from the show was proven to be true after students at Reed College in Portland watched an old video of Steve Martin’s famous “King Tut” skit.
The segment intends to belittle the commercialization of the then-famous “Treasures of Tutankhamun” traveling exhibit that overtook America in an instant. Martin sang, acted and made Americans realize not everything is what it seems.
Still, this only caused for the student to call out Martin’s effort to depict ancient Egyptian culture by doing a “blackface.” Have a look:
The skit was played to students as a debate piece on “cultural appropriation,” as per the Washington Examiner. But, students found the skit highly offensive and appealed never to see it again, and to do something else instead.
Now, the group, known as “Reedies Against Racism,” is comparing Martin’s comedic strengths to a person who the N-word.
According to one of the group’s members, the song is “like somebody … making a song just littered with the N-word everywhere.” She further explained the Egyptian clothing on the backup dancers were racist as well. “The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface,” she said.
What’s even more interesting is that they demanded the college to give staff a paid day off, so they would be able to protests.
Liberals have already understood the issue. English professor Lucía Martínez Valdivia, who describes herself as a “gay, mixed-race woman,” said she feels unsafe in class talking of such delicate matters.
“Some colleagues, including people of color, immigrants and those without tenure, found it impossible to work under these conditions. The signs intimidated faculty into silence, just as intended,” she wrote.
She appealed to her fellow faculty to fight against the rigid movement and take a stance on the matter:
“At Reed and nationwide, we have largely stayed silent, probably hoping that this extremist moment in campus politics eventually peters out. But it is wishful thinking to imagine that the conversation will change on its own. It certainly won’t change if more voices representing more positions aren’t added to it.”
What do you think about Steve Martin’s skit?