- Dave Chappelle hosted the latest “Saturday Night Live” episode.
- After giving a monologue, Chappelle introduced a skit, saying: “A lot of people have lost their jobs in this climate, and unfortunately, a lot of Black people lost their jobs.”
- The camera then panned to Maya Rudolph as the former food brand mascot Aunt Jemima and Kenan Thompson as the former logo of rice brand Uncle Ben’s.
- The characters were shown being fired in the skit, which parodied both brands’ reckonings with their problematic roots earlier this year.
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Dave Chappelle hosted this week’s “Saturday Night Live” episode, which came hours after President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gave election victory speeches to the nation.
After Chappelle gave an opening monologue that included commentary on the year as a whole and a call for Americans to “find a way to forgive each other” following the results of the 2020 presidential race, he introduced a skit that parodied how several American companies reckoned in recent months with their brands’ racist origins.
“A lot of people have lost their jobs in this climate, and unfortunately, a lot of Black people lost their jobs,” Chappelle said.
After Chapelle spoke, Maya Rudolph appeared as the former pancake brand mascot Aunt Jemima and Kenan Thompson as the former logo of rice brand Uncle Ben’s.
In the skit, both characters were both shown being fired by a group of executives in a boardroom. At first, the fictional executives, played by Mikey Day, Alec Baldwin, and Heidi Gardner, were consoling Rudolph and Thompson’s characters.
“Everyone loves your pancakes, Aunt Jemima,” Day said.
“Aunt Jemima, this is hard for us, too. We love you,” Baldwin said. “It’s not personal.”
The skit referenced the recent changes to both Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s (now called Ben’s Original) products that were announced earlier this year
In June, Aunt Jemima’s parent company, PepsiCo, announced that it would change the name and logo of Aunt Jemima after acknowledging the branding’s racist roots. The origin of the Aunt Jemima brand comes from a racial stereotype of a “mammy” figure, according to The New York Times.
New branding for the pancake brand is set to be unveiled later this year, the company announced this summer.
Following PepsiCo’s announcement, Mars, the parent company of Uncle Ben’s, also acknowledged the racist origins of its product line’s branding. In September, Mars announced that the rice brand’s new name will be Ben’s Original and that the original logo of the character Uncle Ben will no longer be used.
In the skit, Thompson as Uncle Ben said: “This is ridiculous. If we can’t work, how come the Allstate guy gets to work?”
Chappelle then entered the stage as the Allstate Insurance pitchman Dennis Haysbert, saying in the skit that his voice “makes white people feel safe, like they are in ‘good hands.'”
Chappelle then questioned why the Count Chocula cereal character, played by Pete Davidson, wasn’t also getting fired. At one point, Chappelle and Davidson broke character, and part of Davidson’s costume â€” vampire fangs â€” fell off from his laughing.
- Read more:
- Aunt Jemima’s logo has changed 6 times, and its history is rooted in racial stereotypes and slavery â€” check out how the brand started and evolved over 130 years
- Uncle Ben’s faced criticism for racial stereotyping. Now the rice brand, owned by Mars, has revealed its new name.
- At the end of his biting ‘SNL’ monologue, Dave Chappelle encourages America ‘to find a way to forgive each other’
- WHERE ARE THEY NOW: All 155 cast members in ‘Saturday Night Live’ history
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