April 13, 2013

Drunk Uncle in Saturday Night Live

In last Saturday's Saturday Night Live (airdate: 4/6/13), Bobby Moynihan played his recurring "Drunk Uncle" character. This was part of his drunken monologue:I got my tax return this year. Poof! Hey, where did my paycheck go? Oh, good, it went to Native Americans' health care.

You're welcome, Chief Pays No Bills.

Comment:  The content of this bit is insulting. One, complaining that the government gives Indians free health care when it's a legally binding treaty obligation. Two, making up a "funny Indian name" to mock Indians. Three, linking this to the unrelated Foxwoods Casino, which doesn't help any tribe but its own, the Mashantucket Pequots.

As usual in this type of situation, you could say Drunk Uncle is a negative character so people shouldn't believe what he says. But he could've been negative about non-Indians and their attitude toward Indians. The writers chose to criticize Indians, and people will remember the words, not the context.

I believe this is the eighth time SNL has mentioned Indians in the last two years, which is an impressive amount. Unfortunately, most of those mentions have been negative, not positive. Keep trying to get it right, people.

For more on Saturday Night Live, see "Village People" in Saturday Night Live and Victoria's Secret in Saturday Night Live.

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