Italian Americans Are Fuming Over Elon Musk’s SNL Sketch About Wario

May 13, 2021 1224

Elon Musk’s episode of Saturday Night Live continues to court controversy. Days after he hosted on May 8, two of the episode’s sketches received backlash. A segment titled “Gen Z Hospital” was criticized for appropriating AAVE (African American Vernacular English) sayings such as “no cap” and “stan.” (In a since deleted Instagram postSNL cast member and co–head writer Michael Che said he wrote the “bombed” sketch, and “meant no offense” by it.) Now, a prominent organization in the Italian American community is speaking out against Musk’s “Wario” sketch.

On Wednesday, the National Italian American Foundation released a statement criticizing Saturday Night Live’s depiction of Italian heritage. “In an era of enhanced sensitivity to racial and ethnic stereotyping, Saturday Night Live’s sophomoric Wario skit demonstrates that a profound double standard continues to exist when it comes to ‘acceptable’ caricaturing of Italians in popular culture,” the statement reads, adding that the organization “condemns such media depictions which run completely counter to the spirit of the times and the aspirations of the nation.”

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