May 16, 2017

"Was SNL’s Take on Sarah Huckabee Sanders Sexist?"

"Critics are arguing that Saturday Night Live’s spoof of White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took low blows at her weight," reports The Daily Beast.
“I will say this: you guys were mean about Huckabee Sanders,” CNN’s New Day co-host Chris Cuomo said on the morning program. “You were fat-shaming her. You were talking about how she looks and what she wears. I thought it was mean, not funny.”...

Regardless of where you fall on the matter of offense, it is certainly lazy to go after a woman’s appearance as the sole source of comedy. Surely there are other punchlines—Sanders’ brusque, exasperated demeanor, her poor grasp of the meaning of “atrocities”—that don’t mock her body image.
ADDED: Ricky Gervais — an actual gifted (and fat) comedian — has strongly and on many occasions defending making fun of fatness. Example:
I heard someone on the radio once say that they were tired of the prejudice aimed at the overweight. They said something like "you're not allowed to make fun of gay people, so why are you allowed to make fun of fat people? It's the same thing."

It's not the same thing though, is it? Gay people are born that way. They didn't work at becoming gay. Fat people became fat because they would rather be that way than stop eating so much. They had to eat and eat to get fat. Then, when they were fat they had to keep up the eating to stay fat. For gayness to be the same as fatness, gay people would have to start off straight but then ween themselves onto cock. Soon they're noshing all day getting gayer and gayer. They've had more than enough cock... they're full... they're just sucking for the sake of it. Now they're overgay, and frowned upon by people who can have the occasional cock but not over indulge.

When a doctor tells me that that's how you become gay, I'll stop making jokes about fat people.
I think what that mostly proves is that if you are funny enough, you can joke about anything. Here's George Carlin's classic defense of that concept.

Now, I haven't watched the SNL about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but I think it might be that they just show her eating. Is that funny enough? I don't know. Depends on how they do it! I remember years ago on SNL, John Belushi playing the role of Elizabeth Taylor — at a time when Liz was pretty fat — and just having her eat, but it was funny eating.

44 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

Their takes on most conservative/Republican women are usually sexist, so even without seeing the skit, I'll give a cautious "yes."

dreams said...

There are a lot of fat women out there and most adults are overweight, most of us tend to gain weight once past our young years but it's ok to trash her because she's a Republican.

Once written, twice... said...

Well, that is a stretch. And of course conservatives never made fun of Hillary's appearance.

Why no posts about the continuing meltdown of the Trumpster?

When Trump said last year that he could murder someone in the middle of 5th Avenue during broad daylight and his followers woundn't care, he was referring specifically to Ann Althouse.

tcrosse said...

Attempted threadjacking.

Bob Ellison said...

You're not allowed to notice what is blaringly obvious?

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, don't threadjack. Sometimes the post you're looking for is already up or in the works. There's a rhythm to how the posts go up, and there's no way for anyone other than me to know what it is. Meade understands some of it, but everyone should at least see that I don't put things up in order of importance!

Matthew Sablan said...

This isn't about whether or not conservatives said sexist things about Hillary (some did), but whether SNL was being sexist.

darrenoia said...

We're talking about people who couldn't think of a way to make a joke at the president's expense for 8 years. I'm not sure we are dealing with the highest levels of comic originality here.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Of course it's sexist. But the rule is simple: It's always different when a lefty does it.

rehajm said...

The goal at SNL is no longer comedy. It's now Therapy TV. A weekly offering of catharsis for lefties through ridicule of their political opponents. Utilizing the forbidden fruit of racism, sexism, etc. is a bonus.

readering said...

The skit made fun of Glenn Thrush's weight too. Part of the problem is finding the right actor to play the person.

tcrosse said...

There was a time when SNL made fun of Hillary. What made them stop ?

Titus said...

To be fair though...her clothes are hideous.

Dave D said...

What rehajm said. I see the need for Therapy TV (tm) every day at my workplace. Crushed liberals all group hugging and sobbing as they try to "get through this". How pathetic! I guess 4-5 hours of MSNBC each night will do that to you?

Fernandinande said...

It's not the same thing though, is it?

Yes, it's the same thing because nobody wants to be fat and nobody wants to be a homo.

Gahrie said...

Actually there is more evidence that people are "born fat" than there is that people are 'born gay".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Damn, are we back to "born this way" now?
I swear it changes every month or so. There should be some sort of national indicator so I'll have a chance at getting it right at any given time.
If you get it wrong, of course, that's your life. Your job, your social standing, etc--poof!

I mean, only a hateful bigot would get it wrong.
The science is settled.

narciso said...

They had no malice in their caricature as it was with Conway (remember tapped sought her out) or the huntress.

Gahrie said...

Damn, are we back to "born this way" now?

As best as I can figure it out....male homosexuals are born that way, but it is a choice for female homosexuals.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sexism isn't sexist when the target of the sexism is the correct target.

Sexism against Republican women isn't sexism.
Racism against black Republicans isn't racist.
Anti-gay slurs used against Republicans aren't homophobic.

Boringly obvious.

Virtually Unknown said...

You could make some funny jokes about Hillary, but you're not allowed. Here's an example of what's possible:

"How does Anthony Weiner know that Huma has her period?"

"Hillary's dick tastes funny."

Not that hard.

Virtually Unknown said...

Liz Taylor was still pretty when she was fat. So yeah, she was "pretty fat."

St. George said...

SNL had about four million viewers per episode in April 2017, according to zap2it.com

The number of people who watch the Daytona 500 on TV is 12.5 million, according to NASCAR.

One group of people is 'cool' 'hip' and 'groovy.' The other is four times as large and uncool and square.

Why aren't the pundits watching NASCAR and then commenting on the politically oriented signs, T-shirts, and commentary during NASCAR races (if there is such)?

narciso said...

The portrayal of Hillary where they make her into an older version of Tracy flick.

Ann Althouse said...

A lot of the cast of SNL is fat. Seems as though that's always been the case. Using fat for comic effect has always gone on. So it's self-deprecating too. It's not as though one of the cast members had to put on a fat suit to play Huckabee Sanders. I think the show often has trouble fitting the actors they've got into the roles they want to perform and they sometimes need to awkwardly pretend the actor isn't fat, squishing her into some outfit that a nonfat person would choose to show off in. I think there's a lot of fat awareness and willingness to lean (fat?) into it.

If you go to my link about Ricky Gervais, he also said comedians shouldn't worry about being fat. There are many fat comedians, and being fat might be part of why they are funny. Like opera singers.

narciso said...

The nets sent a ringer into NASCAR, to prove racism and islamaphobia

Virtually Unknown said...

Does being fat make an opera singer funny?

WA-mom said...

This is barely related, but scroll down to see Sean Spicer in Navy Whites here:
http://heavy.com/news/2017/05/sean-spicer-fired-replaced-sarah-huckabee-sanders-mike-daughter-james-comey-firing/

Kevin said...

There was a time when SNL made fun of Hillary. What made them stop?

They made fun of Hillary over the last eight years as the punchline for their Obama sketches. Whenever they would do one, it would be Obama, Obama, Obama, and then Hillary would show up at the end for the ridicule.

That way they could say they did an Obama sketch without really making him the butt of the joke.

It's been a long eight years for SNL. Some level of overcompensation was bound to happen but this is way beyond that.

tcrosse said...

Joan Rivers had a whole file of Fat Jokes about Liz Taylor.
She has more Chins than the San Francisco phone book.
She has introduced her own fragrance. It smells like fried chicken.
etc. etc.

MayBee said...

How much do people care about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, anyway? The last time I saw SNL, they were doing a skit about KellyAnne Conway. They are just obsessed with political figures who really don't play a role in people's lives.
How many people in this country even know who Sarah Huckabee Sanders is?

Kevin said...

There's a rhythm to how the posts go up, and there's no way for anyone other than me to know what it is.

Love this. I've noticed it myself. And without any attempt to threadjack, I just have to say that it made me think of the Alt-house as a kind of Wonka's Blog Post Factory with the gears spinning and the Ooompa Loompas running around to get the morning posts up.

Meade of course being Head Oompa. Or Loompa. I'm not sure which.

Wilbur said...

Once written, twice... said...
...
When Trump said last year that he could murder someone in the middle of 5th Avenue during broad daylight and his followers woundn't care, he was referring specifically to Ann Althouse.


You've posted this spectacular comment twice now and still haven't figured out the singular vs. plural dichotomy.

MayBee said...

I believe Ricky Gervais is now formerly fat.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Wilbur, Once is a self-identified racist. Don't bother with him.

urbane legend said...

Fernandinande said...

Yes, it's the same thing because nobody wants to be fat and nobody wants to be a homo.

What about a fat homo?

tcrosse said...

What about a fat homo?

Ask Elton John.

Leslie Graves said...

Here are the events in the SNL skit that could be interpreted as fat-shaming.

* When the actress playing SHS introduces herself to the media as Sean Spicer's replacement for the day, she says, "My father is Mike Huckabee and my mother is a big southern hamburger".

* The actress playing SHS is significantly overweight, and walks and stands in a clumpy, awkward way you might associate with grade school kids who are significantly overweight

* At one point, SHS wanders back into the press conference holding an apple and a knife. She is cutting wedges from the apple.

Strange line about who her mother is.

Sebastian said...

Lefty humor is situational, like their ethics and linguistics. As others have noted, whether fat-shaming is wrong or funny depends on the target. Here the target is right, so it's funny. This whole notion that there should be one standard of judgment is an atavistic Enlightenment prejudice. Colorblindness is racism, executive orders are unconstitutional if issued by the wrong president, and so on, and so forth.

Martha said...

Yes, SNL was mean, sexist, and fat-shaming in its depiction of Huckabee Sanders.

Lena Dunham's greatest contribution to our culture IMO is her defiance of what is considered an acceptable female body. Dunham is lumpy and dumpy and does not care what you think or say about her nude body.

wendybar said...

Would it be okay if SNL went out and made fun of Hillarys big ass, or Micheles body type??? Would it?? I am sure they could not...

Anthony said...

Sexism against Republican women isn't sexism.

Racism against black Republicans isn't racist.

Anti-gay slurs used against Republicans aren't homophobic.


That pretty much covers it.

Well, pretty much everything Lefties say. Ever.

n.n said...

SNL's take was bigoted (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrisy). No Judgment.

That said, can a Pro-Choicer, selective, opportunistic, and unprincipled, technically be classified as a hypocrite? It seems to be a get out of the abortion chamber free card.

Joanne Jacobs said...

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has given birth to three children in the past five years.