- “Saturday Night Live” parodied Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this weekend in its regular “Weekend Update” segment.
- The role of Zuck was played by “SNL” cast member Alex Moffat, who nailed the stilted, rehearsed cadence of the embattled Facebook CEO.
- The parody is a great example of how the public views Zuckerberg at this crucial moment in the company’s history.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been on a public relations tear in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed that as many as 87 million people had their Facebook data scraped– data that was used to target political ads and help sway elections, including the 2016 US presidential election.
Zuck’s been doing interviews and making changes at Facebook, as part of the PR push. But many of his answers have come across as stilted, rehearsed, and impersonal – a recurring theme for a man sometimes referred to as “Zuckerborg” by critics.
Simply put: Zuckerberg can come off as robotic when he’s trying to portray himself as empathetic, and people notice. It’s no wonder that Facebook is racing to coach Zuckerberg on how to be more charming ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill this week.
This weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” highlighted that public perception of Zuck perfectly during a parody interview in the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.
As fake Zuck is introduced, he says aloud, “Begin eye contact. Two, three – and away.” – the kind of operating instructions a robot might follow.
The entire, brief segment is pretty funny, but what it highlights about public perception of Facebook’s CEO is crucial: many of Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users (to say nothing of the other 5 billion people on the planet) see Zuckerberg as an unfeeling, robotic CEO who plays at apologizing while continuing the behaviour that upset users in the first place.
And that’s a real problem for Zuck, who runs Facebook as CEO, and who wields enough voting power that he can’t be kicked out of his job. Reporters have begun asking if he’s fit for the role of Facebook CEO, echoing calls from at least one major Facebook shareholder for Zuckerberg to step down as chairman of the company.
Take a look at the full clip from “SNL” right here:
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