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'SNL' mocks Jussie Smollett in sketch that doubts his innocence. Did it go too far?

 

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This week’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” took some hard jabs at Jussie Smollett and the Mueller report release.
USA TODAY

Jussie Smollett took two comedic hits Saturday night.

First Chris Rock went after him at the NAACP Image Awards.

Then “Saturday Night Live” devoted a sketch to how they imagined Smollett’s meetings with Fox executives are going these days.

And it’s not flattering.

In the sketch, Smollett (played by Chris Redd) is two hours late to the meeting, as his manager (host Sandra Oh) makes excuses and Fox execs (Kate McKinnon, Mickey Day) and Lee Daniels (Kenan Thompson) get more annoyed by the second.

“Jussie Smollett was a victim!” insists Oh.

“Oh, please,” retorts McKinnon.

Then Redd walks in wearing a red MAGA hat. 

“Guys, you are not going to believe what just happened to me,” Redd says. “I got attacked again!” He promptly digs through a shopping bag that holds Crest White Strips, the letters KKK and a Teletubby. “The killer left me a bunch of clues!”

“What killer?” asks an exasperated McKinnon. 

“You’re still alive, Jussie,” retorted another exec, played by Day.

“Only because I fought back, because I’m the gay Mike Tyson,” insists Redd.

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  • Instead of the usual political sketch, SNL kicked off its March 9 episode mocking Gayle King's interview with R. Kelly. The singer, played by Kenan Thompson, gave answers to questions from King (Leslie Jones) that seemed as ill conceived as the actual responses from R. Kelly in an interview earlier that week.1 of 50
  • The episode also featured a guest appearance from Gwyneth Paltrow (with Michael Che and Heidi Gardner) parodying her line of Goop products. Gardner had to enlist the aid of a fellow Goop consultant when she messes up product descriptions and is worried the Goop founder will fire her. No, she doesn't believe in firing, remember? says Paltrow's consultant character. It's called conscious un-employing.2 of 50
  • Pete Davidson also appeared on Weekend Update with Colin Jost to address rumors about him dating actress Kate Beckinsale and the age difference between them. It doesn't really bother us, he said. But then again, I'm new to this, so if you have questions about relationships with a big age difference, just ask Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Statham, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere ... and on and on, including three references to Larry King.3 of 50
  • Host Idris Elba had some fun as an English soccer star named Dave The Bruiser Kooseman who isn't very good as a new commentator along side British announcers played by Alex Moffat and Mikey Day.4 of 50
  • Ben Stiller opened the March 2 episode of Saturday Night Live by reprising his role as Michael Cohen, sending up the former Trump fixer's congressional hearing earlier this week.  The first time I testified I was also under oath, but this time I really mean it, Stiller said.5 of 50
  • Former cast member Bill Hader returned to play one of the most vocal House members from the Cohen hearing, Ohio Republican Jim Jordan (upper right).   I'm angry that I have to sit through this two-bit, dirtbag flea circus, he raged. I'm so angry I couldn't even wear a jacket today! He was especially vexed by Cohen's revelation that one of the sleazy circles he hung out in was the Republican National Committee, where he served as deputy finance chair. California Democrat Jackie Speier (Heidi Gardner, left) yielded her time to Jordan so he can continue digging his own grave and Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz  yielded hers as a prank on him.6 of 50
  • After hearing from Arizona Republican Paul Gosar (Kyle Mooney, top center), who garbled his entire speech, and North Carolina's Mark Meadows (Alex Moffat top left), who confused Lynne Patton, a black female Trump staffer, with Omarosa, committee chair Elijah Cummings of Maryland (Kenan Thompson, top right) ended questioning so he could give a quick sermon and call everyone in this room a fool.7 of 50
  • Host John Mulaney (top cener presided over a musical spectacle that called back to last season's Diner Lobster sketch where Pete Davidson ordered seafood at a greasy spoon, going against popular New York wisdom. From there, it turned into a Les Miserables parody.  This time around, he asked to use the restroom at a corner store, where the bodega cat (Kenan Thompson) was straight out of the musical Cats and Kate McKinnon sang Memories while dressed as a religious candle.  Somehow,  the writers also found a way to reference Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Little Shop of Horrors and Rent.8 of 50
  • Legal Shark Tank featured celebrities in legal trouble trying to woo high-profile attorneys to represent them. Here, Jussie Smollett (Chris Redd) pitches his case to Michael Avenatti, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz. If you take my case, I offer spoilers for the next season of 'Empire': I die.9 of 50
  • You all see why I have to fake this national emergency, right? Alec Baldwin said at the top of Saturday Night Live on Feb. 16, mocking President Trumps Rose Garden speech announcing his latest gambit to get his border wall. I have to because I want to. The skit irked the real occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who tweeted, THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!10 of 50
  • The president was even less likely to appreciate host Don Cheadles vintage Soviet hockey jersey, which read Trump 45 on the back. It wasnt his only sartorial statement: while introducing musical guest Gary Clark Jr., he sported a shirt that said Protect trans kids.11 of 50
  • Kenan Thompson as Eugene Robinson, Kyle Mooney as Chuck Todd, Cecily Strong as Peggy Noonan, and Leslie Jones as Donna Brazile poke fun at the fight between Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer during a parody of Meet the Press.12 of 50
  • Girl power in politics was front and center with host Halsey as Rashida Tlaib, Aidy Bryant as Annie Kuster, Melissa Villasenor as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Heidi Gardner as Abigail Spanberger, Kate McKinnon as Nancy Pelosi, Cecily Strong as Kyrsten Sinema, Ego Nwodim as Ilhan Omar and Leslie Jones as Maxine Waters representing women of Congress.13 of 50
  • State politics was also on tap as guest host Halsey led Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, and Beck Bennett as they shed light on political controversy in Virginia.14 of 50
  • Melissa Villasenor showed off her Lady Gaga impression along side Colin Jost and Michael Che during Weekend Update.15 of 50
  • Steve Martin made a surprise appearance as Trump aide Roger Stone to kick off the Jan. 26 episode Saturday Night Live. The appearance, a day after Stone was arrested in Florida and charged with lying to investigators, obstruction and witness tampering in the Russia investigation, was part of a parody of Tucker Carlson's Fox News show.16 of 50
  • Appearing as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Kate McKinnon made light of his a comment in which he advised furloughed federal workers to take out loans to tide them over rather than seek help from food banks. That was silly of me, her Ross deadpanned. I simply meant there are other ways to get money, like liquidating their stocks or selling a painting. Even a lesser Picasso will get you through a week or two of yacht maintenance.17 of 50
  • The shutdown humor didn't end with the Fox News sketch. A Deal or No Deal parody featured President Trump (Alec Baldwin) trying to win funding for his proposed border wall by playing Deal or No Deal. Manning the briefcases: singer Cardi B (Ego Nwodim), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Kate McKinnon) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat).18 of 50
  • James McAvoy, who hosted the Jan. 26 episode, paid homage to his homeland of Scotland, delivering his monologue in a kilt.19 of 50
  • On the  Jan. 19 episode, host Rachel Brosnahan took part in a game show  pitting Millennials against Baby Boomers  alongside Pete Davidson.20 of 50
  • Former SNL writer John Mulaney made a surprise appearance on the the Jan. 19 edition of Weekend Update to tell anchor Colin Jost that he's been mentoring cast member Pete Davidson, Davidson,  saying I'm trying to show him you can have a life in comedy that's not insane. Davidson, who has been open about his mental-health struggles retorted, After observing John's life, I publicly threatened suicide.21 of 50
  • Saturday Night Live kicked off their Christmas episode with Donald Trump in a parody version of the classic It's a Wonderful Life. The sketch drew the ire of the president, who, in a tweet the day after the show, questioned whether parodies like this could be tested in a court.22 of 50
  • Host Matt Damon and Cecily Strong played parents who reflected on a less-than-stellar crazy Christmas day.23 of 50
  • Damon also played Chris Hemsworth in a sketch with Oscars auditions that also featured impressions of Tiffany Haddish, Allison Janney and Sarah Silverman from castmembers as well as Damon taking on Matthew McConaughey.24 of 50
  • Jason Momoa brought Khal Drogo, his character from Game of Thrones, back to life to co-host a show with Kenan Thompson's Zerbo. The duo interviewed other Thrones characters who had been killed off including Hodor (Beck Bennett).25 of 50
  • Momoa (holding Mikey Day) also played Beef, a jock with anger management issues, in a parody of 1980's nerd movies.26 of 50
  • Momoa took on dad duty twice for different shorts for the episode. Here he is as a father meeting his daughter's boyfriend for the first time.27 of 50
  • He also played a stay-at-home dad using manly tools to keep the house clean for his wife.28 of 50
  • In the first of three December shows, the ladies of Saturday Night Live performed a special (counsel) update to the Mariah Carey holiday classic, titled All I Want for Christmas Is the Mueller Report.  It featured lyrics like I just want to sleep at night. Please make sure your case is tight.29 of 50
  • That wasn't the only musical parody. During the G20-themed cold open, President Trump (Alec Baldwin), third from right, is joined by Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller), left, Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon), Melania Trump (Cecily Strong), Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Fred Armisen) sent up the Broadway staple Don't Cry for Me, Argentina.30 of 50
  • Leslie Jones, left, announced she was retiring from sex on Weekend Update. Explaining her reasoning, she told anchor Colin Jost, Who am I supposed to even date? A guy in his 60s, who possibly might die on top of me? Or date a guy in his 20s, so I'm a child molester now? I have to put out milk and cookies and a PlayStation to have sex? No! My sex days is over!31 of 50
  • Steve Carell kicked off his SNL hosting duties on Nov. 17 with a monologue in which he vehemently denied the possibility of an Office renuion, much to the chagrin of former castmates Ellie Kemper, Jenna Fischer and Ed Helms, who made surprise cameos.32 of 50
  • Carell also took a swipe at Amazon's recent new headquarters announcement, playing the company's iconic CEO Jeff Bezos.33 of 50
  • Pete Davidson and Chris Redd performed a rap about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Kate McKinnon playing the high-octane justice with slick dance moves.34 of 50
  • A week after Pete Davidson received criticism for his jokes about military veteran Dan Crenshaw running for public office, the former Navy SEAL got his turn at the Weekend Update desk in the Nov. 10 episode. The newly-elected Congressman cracked jokes at Davidson's expense and taunted him with a ringtone from the comedian's ex-ex-fiancee, Ariana Grande.But he ended with a serious message of unity. There's a lot to learn here, Crenshaw said. Not just that the left and right can still agree on some things, but also, Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other.35 of 50
  • Robert De Niro made a surprise guest appearance, reprising his role as independent counsel Robert Mueller, who came to bid farewell to ousted  Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon). Mueller assured Sessions that he helped in the investigation more than you'll ever know, before leaving him with a parting gift.You know in 'Harry Potter' when an elf gets a piece of clothing and it sets him free? Mueller said, producing a piece of toilet paper that had been stuck to President Trump's shoe. This is for you.36 of 50
  • Saturday Night Live returned with a new episode Nov. 3, just in time for Pete Davidson (seen here with Weekend Update co-host Michael Che) to take aim at what he dubbed gross candidates before Election Day. That included Republican Dan Crenshaw of Texas. You may be surprised to hear hes a congressional candidate in Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie, Davidson said of Crenshaw, who wears an eye patch due to an injury he suffered fighting in Afghanistan. The Republican later tweeted, Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets dont deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.37 of 50
  • Jonah Hill hosted the show for the fifth time, making him a member of the Five-Timers Club. He was welcomed to the club by Tina Fey, Candice Bergen, and Drew Barrymore during his opening monologue.38 of 50
  • Hill also brought back his character Adam Grossman, a six-year-old with a loud mouth at a local Benihana. His over-the-top portrayal caused castmembers Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson and Leslie Jones to break character several times during the sketch.39 of 50
  • There was little chance Saturday Night Live was going to ignore the Oct. 11 Oval Office meeting between rapper Kanye West and President Trump, which took place two days before the third episode of Season 44. As West (Chris Redd) bragged about having a big brain and the best words, Trump (Alec Baldwin) realized, Oh my God, he's  black me!  Click forward for more memorable moments from the current season.40 of 50
  • Host Seth Meyers also got in his two cents on the Kanye/Trump meeting during his return to the Weekend Update desk, where he delivered his signature Really?!? rant with help from Colin Jost and Michael Che. I feel like the only place those two should meet is in group (therapy), Meyers opined. They should be in the basement of a church with a dude with an earring and leather bracelet saying, 'I'm really glad you both decided to come back.'  Really.41 of 50
  • Meyers, who rarely appeared in acted sketches when he was on SNL, popped up in a few as the guest host, including this one where he played a prisoner who resisted the offers of friendship from new cellmate Bill Cosby (Kenan Thompson).  How come every time I offer to mentor someone, it always ends up turning on me?  the older man asked.42 of 50
  • Redd also teamed up with Pete Davidson to play rappers who were especially fond of treees.43 of 50
  • Meyers gave a shoutout to his family during the curtain call, wearing a T-shirt that referenced his wife (Alexi), sons (Axel and Ashe) and the family's Italian greyhound, Frisbee.44 of 50
  • Unlike the season premiere curtain call, which ended with the cast awkwardly standing behind Kanye West during a pro-Trump rant, Episode 3 ended on a happier note, with a birthday cake for musical guest Paul Simon, who turned 77 that day.45 of 50
  • In Episode 2, SNL imagined the GOP locker-room party after Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation. Everyones pumped  from white men over 60 to white men over 70,said Sen. Mitch McConnell (Beck Bennett) to Heidi Gardner's Dana Bash.46 of 50
  • Guest host Awkwafina led an unusual dance battle that included game-show themes and musical guest Travis Scott pulling out some sick moves to Jeopardy that would make Alex Trebek envious.47 of 50
  • SNL tapped surprise guest Matt Damon to play Judge Brett Kavanaugh in its season-opening skit, a send up of the then-Supreme Court nominee's testimony before the Senate. Now I'm usually an optimist  a 'the keg is half-full'kind of guy, Damon's Kavanaugh said.But what I've seen from the monsters on this committee makes me want to puke  and not from beer.48 of 50
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Kate McKinnon) also gave her opinion on the Kavanaugh testimony on Weekend Update. He thinks his confirmation hearing is unfair? she asked incredulously. My confirmation hearing was they threw me in a river to see if I floated. That's a Ginsburn!49 of 50
  • Musical guest Kanye West created quite the buzz for his performance of I Love It with Lil Pump in the season opener. The Perrier and Fiji water costumes quickly became an internet meme and will likely be one of the most talked about performances of the season.50 of 50

Oh, as his manager, eventually fires him.

Reaction on Twitter following the sketch airing was largely negative.

“Oh man,” tweeted @Isirikul.

Tweeter @lisa_lisab7426  called it in “bad taste.”

The sketch was “trash as hell. And it’s so easy to make fun of. FAIL,” said @ramdas69___.

The sketch was “cringeworthy” and “not really funny” wrote @bookangel224.

User @shawtyfromguam noted how writers approached it “was a choice.”

But some found it funny.

“This Jussie Smollett skit is hilarious!!!” wrote @TerpGrad01.

“lmaoooo” laughed @MrGChristopher.

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  • Actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago.1 of 28
  • Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) ORG XMIT: ILPB1322 of 28
  • In this image taken from video, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson appear at a news conference in Chicago, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, abandoning the case barely five weeks after he was accused of lying to police about being the target of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago. The mayor and police chief blasted the decision and stood by the investigation that concluded Smollett staged a hoax. (Mitch Armentrout/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) ORG XMIT: ILCHS4033 of 28
  • Actor Jussie Smollett takes a selfie with a fan outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. 4 of 28
  • Actor Jussie Smollett speaks with members of the media after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Ill. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor. 5 of 28
  • Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him.6 of 28
  • Empire actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Chicago's Leighton Criminal Court Building for his arraignment hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2019.7 of 28
  • On Feb. 22, Fox announced it was suspending Smollett, one day after the actor's arrest. His character, Jamal Lyon, will be cut out of the final two episodes of Season 5. The show returns from its winter break on March 13.8 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett is seen during the Season 5 fall finale of Empire. Will he be back for the second half following his arrest for filing a false police report saying he was assaulted?9 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett: The Empire star surrendered to Chicago10 of 28
  • Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. addresses Smollett in a courtroom sketch from his bond hearing on Feb. 21. Lyke said he was taken aback by the accusations even as he told the actor he has the presumption of innocence. The most vile and despicable part of it, if its true, is the noose, said Lyke, who, like Smollett, is black. That symbol conjures up such evil in this countrys history.11 of 28
  • Assistant State's Attorney Risa Lanier briefs reporters after Smollett's bond hearing. Prosecutors say he paid two brothers, Abimbola Abel and Olabinjo Ola Osundairo, to stage the assault and stage-managed the whole thing, choosing the location and telling them to put a rope around his heck, pour bleach on him and yell, This is MAGA country!12 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bail on Feb. 21.  The judge set his bond at $100,000 required the actor to surrender his passport and forbade him from having any contact with the Osundairo brothers.13 of 28
  • Smollett was reportedly expected back on the set of Empire hours after leaving the Cook County jail.14 of 28
  • In a press conference following his arrest, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, First Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial homophobic and political language. When that didnt work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack. The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary so he concocted a story about being attacked.15 of 28
  • On Feb. 22, less than 10 days after interviewing Smollett on Good Morning America, Robin Roberts called his arrest a setback for race relations, homophobia, MAGA supporters  the fingers were pointed at them. I cannot think of another case where there's this anger on so many sides, and you can understand why there would be.16 of 28
  • Smollett referenced his attack during a Feb. 2 concert in Los Angeles, less than a week later. He told the crowd, I had to be here tonight, y'all. I couldn't let those (expletives) win.17 of 28
  • Smollett laughs with co-star Taraji P. Henson during a scene from Season 5.  The actress, who plays his mother, expressed support for him the day after the alleged assault in an Instagram post, writing, I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasnt and we all feel his pain right now.18 of 28
  • Actor-singer Jussie Smollett, from the Fox series, Empire, March 6, 2018, in New York.19 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett speaks during the Empire season 5 world premiere during the 2018 Tribeca TV Festival at in New York City.20 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett and Serayah McNeill perform onstage during amfAR Dance2Cure Dec. 1, 2018 in Hollywood.21 of 28
  • David Christopher, Deborah Cox, and Jussie Smollett attend the Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE LA 2018,  Dec. 3, 2018 in Beverly Hills.22 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett, Billy Porter, and Deborah Cox attend the Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE LA 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Dec. 3, 2018 in Beverly Hills.23 of 28
  • Actor Jussie Smollett, a 2019 inductee of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, left, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and Danny Glover who was also a 2019 inductee pose for photos during the ceremony at The Miami Beach Convention Center on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. (Jose A. Iglesias/Miami Herald via AP) ORG XMIT: FLMIH10424 of 28
  • Lucious (Terrence Howard) toasts his family in the Devil Quotes Scripture television episode. L-R: Jussie Smollett, Serayah McNeill, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealey, Terrence Howard, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday.25 of 28
  • First lady Michelle Obama moves out of the way as she welcomes performer Jussie Smollett, in the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 24, 2016, during an interactive student workshop on the musical legacy of Ray Charles, where students from 10 schools and community organizations from across the country participate as part of the In Performance at the White House series.26 of 28
  • Jussie Smollett speaks during the Empire season 5 world premiere during the 2018 Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, Sept. 22, 201827 of 28
  • I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level, Jussie Smollett said Friday in his first statement since the attack.28 of 28

 

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