“Saturday Night Live” took on a wide array of current events in this week’s episode, from O.J. Simpson’s prison release to the mass shooting in Las Vegas. But one news story didn’t make the cut: the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“SNL” writers had prepared multiple jokes about the alleged misconduct, a source told The New York Times. But, according to the Times, the skits were pulled at the last minute “because the material seemed to fall flat with the show’s studio audience” during a dress rehearsal. In the end, there were no mentions of the story on the show, even in its news-focused “Weekend Update” skit.
When asked about the omission, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels told the Daily Mail that, “it’s a New York thing.” The Times’ source explained that Michaels meant that the allegations might not be familiar to a national audience.
The show has in the past taken on similar allegations against President Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, and the late former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.
It’s not just “SNL” that has struggled with how to handle the news, first revealed in The New York Times last week. Nearly all of the late-night comedy hosts, including Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, James Corden and Stephen Colbert, failed to mention Weinstein on their Thursday night episodes. Trevor Noah made a passing reference on his show on Thursday, and Colbert made a joke on Twitter late Friday. On Saturday, after prodding from Donald Trump Jr., Kimmel tweeted that the situation was “disgusting.”
NBC News had also given the story, which escalated on Sunday after Weinstein was fired from his namesake company, substantially less airtime than the other two major networks.