Yesha Callahan

Black Face is Ba(ra)ck?

I’ve been a Saturday Night Live (SNL) watcher since I was a kid. I remember forcing myself to stay awake every Saturday just to tune into the show. There were countless times when I got into serious trouble from watching it because my parents thought it wasn’t age appropriate (these were the same people who always kept my stash of horror novels up to date..go figure).
It’s rare that I’m home on a Saturday night nowadays, so last night I figured I would try to catch SNL. I remembered earlier in the week, the local news channel ran a story about SNL searching for an Obama look-a-like for a few of their upcoming sketches, so I was eager to see who they came across to cast.
To my astonishment, I saw he was portraying Obama:
Hmmmm…..Last time I checked, Fred Armisen was a white guy, not a black man or even a bi-racial man. Now, I’m sure people will question the fact that Maya Rudolph has portrayed numerous women who were not black or bi-racial, such as, Liza Minelli and Donatella Versace but when do you draw the line between comedy and good taste?
Considering the fact that Kenan Thompson, is currently the lone black comic on SNL, and looks nothing like Obama (although there were reports that he was ‘dieting’ for the role), it seems as though in recent years, Hollyweird has taken us back to the old fashioned “Black Face” genre of entertainment. Throw some “D”(s) on a white person (as in DERMABLEND Make-Up #4) and voila, you have a racially ambiguous black person. Even Angelina Jolie did it for her movie, “A Mighty Heart”. A curly wig just added to the ‘ethnic’ look.

I guess all in all, SNL did what it aimed to do, which was garner some higher ratings, especially since the writers strike is over. I can only imagine how many letters of concern will flood their inboxes this week!
Kudos for the writer’s strike being over & bringing “BLACK FACE” back to primetime! What a way to end Black History Month!
  1. February 27, 2008 - Reply

    I would love to see a man portray Hillary.

  2. March 27, 2008 - Reply

    I didnt have a problem with this, as SNL has other comedians of other ethnicities playing everything under the sun. Hell, Maya Rudolph is Black (ok Black and white) and she plays white women all the time! She does a great Donatella Versace. Plus, dude IS bi-racial…hes just not Black and white.


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