SNL Calling The Shots On No Latinas in its Cast for 40 Years
This is a little bit of a Debbie Downer.
This past week, our friends at LatinoRebels.com wrote how Saturday Night Live has never hired a Latina cast member (on the cusp of a 40-year anniversary). Last month the Washington Post touched on the subject as well. With Latinos making up 17% of the U.S., nearly 50% of California, 40% of Texas, and 20% of NY, their home state, you’d think SNL would get a clue.
Not only does SNL not have a clue, they had the audacity to put out a skit on how “Whites will call the shots” until 2050 or 2060. We know it was supposed to be funny, but how ironic that the skit's crescendo introduces a young Mexican man standing and smiling (without speaking). There have been many studies out recently about Latinos not being given speaking parts on-screen.
This skit portrays most of the “Whites” in suits, well-dressed, and satirically "relatable". We know the skit is dorky, but at the very least, the white characters are humanized with speaking parts. The Mexican man portrayed is not well-dressed, relatable or charismatic, in fact, we have no sense of who he is because he has no speaking part.
It may be they were intending to educate the public on disparities by satirically pointing out discrepencies in power and represation in our country. Unfortunately, while the producers at SNL may have had good intentions, NOT representing the Mexican man as relatable, intelligent, articulate, and personable misses the point, and maybe even sends the wrong message. While SNL may be attempting to point out these disparities, perhaps, it would be even more poignant and powerful if they, instead of creating a comic skit, had Latino and Latina representation on staff.
At the end of the skit, the announcer hautingingly retorts, “Whites, we’ll be in power until 2050, 2060 tops...then, it’s all yours Mexicans." Congratulations, SNL you finally admitted that you wont have another Latino on until they "take over" in 2060.