An SNL Writer Got Suspended for Joking About Barron Trump
I’m not trying to freak you out when I say this. But often, in the beginning of a fascist regime, freedom of expression is the first thing to go. I mean, we all read the “1984” SparkNotes, right? Being told what you can and cannot say is doubleplusungood af.
That’s why it’s so scary that a “Saturday Night Live” writer was suspended from her job this weekend because she tweeted a joke about Barron Trump, President Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son.
The joke in question was this: “Barron Trump will be the first homeschool shooter.” It was posted by SNL writer Katie Rich.
I’m not gonna judge you if you laughed at it. That’s between you and your god.
But one thing’s for sure: it’s created a massive brouhaha that will probably hurt Barron more in the long run.
Because here’s the thing: Katie apologized for the tweet pretty quickly and took it down. She also deactivated her Twitter account for a hot minute and deleted her other tweets, because she’s no fool.
But instead of letting that be the end of it, conservatives quickly spread the tweet like wildfire, turning it into a massive scandal. Yes, if you saw your aunt or uncle staunchly defending Barron Trump on Facebook this weekend, this was why.
Now, you might be wondering: if someone thought a joke was tasteless, why would they spread it around even more? Why would they want MORE people to see a joke mocking a 10-year-old, if they found it so horrific?
Well, probably because they want to look good on social media. Which is really funny, because it sounds a lot like the performative woke-ness liberals are constantly accused of.
— Caroline Craig (@CeeJayCraig) January 21, 2017
The bottom line is Katie deleted the tweet. It would’ve been forgotten about forever. But conservatives just had to come for her head. And now she’s been suspended from her job indefinitely — they already chopped her name from the show’s credits this past Saturday. SNL and NBC have yet to release a statement.
Yes, that’s right, a bunch of conservatives formed a pitchfork mob and got a presumably liberal writer effectively fired from her job. Isn’t that what liberals are always accused of doing — being overly offended and trying to ruin people’s lives because of jokes?
Not to mention, the pitchfork mob and NBC Streisand effect-ed the whole joke. They took something that they wanted covered up, and blew it up into a massive story. The tweet could have just gone away, but instead, people needed to shame the writer behind it to make themselves look better. They needed to make an example out of her. If anyone really cared about Barron’s feelings in all this, they would have ignored the joke after it was deleted. Barron never would have been the wiser. But now, he’s definitely going to find out about it.
Back to the truly scary part, though: it is terrifying and outrageous that a writer could get fired for making a joke about the First Family. I don’t care if it hurts their feelings. Whether it’s okay to mock a child is completely beside the point — as conservatives proved when they continued to spread the joke around so that as many people as possible would see it, so that the shaming could begin.
What makes this even scarier is the fact that NBC and the Trumps go way back. Yes, SNL has skewered Donald Trump on a weekly basis for the past few months, but it’s basically been the same softball insults that anyone who’s comedically inclined lobs Trump’s way.
NBC also happens to be the longtime home of Trump’s original reality show, “The Apprentice.” And this wouldn’t be the first time an SNL writer was fired because of some executive’s hoity-toity friendships with the rich and powerful. In the first chapter of the book “Poking a Dead Frog,” comedy writer Jim Downey describes how he was fired from SNL in the 90s because of an executive’s close friendship with OJ Simpson.
Yeah, imagine being a comedy writer in the 90s, and hearing from your bosses that you have to play nice with OJ Simpson. That’s like trying to play the Super Bowl with one arm.
So I think we all can see what’s going on here. NBC, SNL, and your garden variety social-media conservatives wanted to make an example of someone in order to help themselves and make themselves look better. They don’t care about Barron Trump’s feelings. The TV execs care about money and ratings, and your conservative uncle cares about scolding the “libtards” for stooping too low. Not to mention the fact that Donald Trump has said and done way worse than a school-shooting joke about a kid. And he’s not a comedian, he’s our president.
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Also, hate to break it to you, but this isn’t the first time someone affiliated with “Saturday Night Live” made fun of a presidential kid. Back in the 90s, “SNL” ran a sketch where they mocked Chelsea Clinton for her looks. They apologized — Mike Myers even wrote a letter to the White House — but as far as I can tell through my own research, no one got fired.
And that was on the actual show, not a writer’s personal Twitter account where they should be free to write whatever the hell they want. Plenty of comedians experiment with off-color jokes, both onstage and on Twitter. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. This particular joke was a flop and pissed people off. But comedians need to be allowed to test things out. We ask them to take us in new directions and push us outside our comfort zone — it’s their job. It’s not fair of us to get mad at them when they push it a little too far.
So again, no one involved here actually cares about a kid’s feelings. They care about smoothing things over for the half of the country that voted for Trump, and preserving whatever relationship they have with him.
AND I’M SORRY, BUT IT NEEDS TO BE SAID:
This is going to come off as pretty accurate, but male comedy writers & comics say bonkers shit all the time w/o getting fired/suspended.
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) January 23, 2017
So to those of you who’ve railed against Katie Rich, don’t pat yourselves on the back too hard. You’re not accomplishing a single thing — besides pushing an insulting joke about a kid in front of the eyes of many, many more people than originally saw it. Oh, and you’re also doing the bidding of a fascist regime. Don’t forget that part.