The Anti-Defamation League has penned an open letter to "Saturday Night Live" executive producer Lorne Michaels condemning an unaired sketch that they believe perpetuates inaccurate and unfair perceptions about the United States' relationship with Israel.
Watch the sketch here.
In the sketch, which parodied Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearings, senate Republicans such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott accused Obama's defense secretary nominee of failing to support Israel properly. Much of the comedy came from the senators attempting to appear more pro-Israel than each other. McCain (played here by Taran Killem) finally said he would not vote for Hagel unless he pledged to perform fellatio on a donkey if requested by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The sketch, which was cut before the live broadcast but was posted on NBC.com, exaggerated the real-life grilling Hagel received from senate Republicans.
The ADL, however, was not laughing. Abraham Foxman, the director of the advocacy group, stated that while they "do have a sense of humor," they think that the sketch went too far.
Foxman went on:
On the one hand, in taking this public controversy and skewering it to a degree that is absurd, this is a form of legitimate satire that serves to erode the hard edge of those who falsely claim that America is a tool of the Israelis. On the other hand, there inevitably will be those who say, “Yeah, it’s funny, but there is some truth to all of this.” And for a smaller minority among those individuals, elements of the skit could play into the worst kind of ideas, even reinforcing pernicious notions of Jewish control of government in the vein of those routinely espoused by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites by suggesting that U.S. officials would even engage in public sex acts if asked to do so by Israel.
While he went onto say that he was glad the sketch did not make the final broadcast, he doubled down on his comments in an interview with The Daily Beast. He said that the sketch "reinforces the pernicious notion of Jewish control over this government ... that Israel controls the Senate."
He also said that the fact that Lorne Michaels and many writers and producers on "SNL" are Jewish "doesn’t excuse their insensitivity and their playing on stereotypes and selling stereotypes and forcing stereotypes.”
What do you think? Does the ADL have a point, or was the sketch typical political parody for which "SNL" is known?