"SNL" writer responds to backlash over slavery sketch: Black people are too sensitive!

After being criticized over her "Weekend Update" segment, Leslie Jones unleashed on her critics via Twitter


Prachi Gupta
May 5, 2014 6:14PM (UTC)

"Saturday Night Live" writer Leslie Jones has responded to the backlash regarding May 3rd's "Weekend Update" segment about the breeding of slaves, calling her critics "idiots" and "fucking morons" on Twitter.

Jones, one of the two writers "SNL" hired in January, made her debut appearance on the segment to tell anchor Colin Jost that if she were a slave, she wouldn't still be single.

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After People Magazine named "12 Years a Slave" actress Lupita Nyong'o the world's most beautiful person, Jones told Jost, "The way we view black beauty has changed."

"Look at me -- see, I'm single right now," Jones said. "But back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I'm 6' tall and I'm strong, Colin, strong! I mean look at me, I'm a mandingo!"

"I do not want to be a slave," she clarified. "I'm just saying that back in the slave days, my love life would have been way better. Master would have hooked me up with the best brother on the plantation, and every nine months I'd be in the corner having a super baby."

In response to the controversial bit, Ebony Magazine senior editor Jamilah Lemieux called Jones an "embarrassment," triggering a conversation about the portrayal of black women in the media:

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Jones then broke her silence and exploded on Twitter, saying that "black people are where we are now" because "we too fucking sensitive":

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Lemieux has also expanded on her initial tweet in Ebony, calling the sketch a "grossly offensive skit about slave rape." She wrote:

"It’s disturbing to imagine that Jones’ own understanding is so limited that she actually believes she'd do ‘better’ with men if forced breeding were on the table---that she actually doesn’t understand that mating between enslaved Africans was often under duress---and, also, even if there was some shred of humor in this routine, that SNL is the wrong venue for it."

Watch the full segment, below:


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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