Daily Mail, December 4, 2017
People in Ireland and on social media are criticizing Saturday Night Live for its Aer Lingus skit, claiming the skit plays into Irish stereotypes.
The Saoirse Ronan-starring skit is even being branded ‘racist’ and a ‘hate crime’ by some on Twitter.
Donald Clarke, writing in the Irish Times, said: ‘No British sketch show would now even attempt these levels of Paddywhackery.’
The skit stars Ronan and SNL cast member Cecily Strong as flight attendants for a fictional Aer Lingus flight.
The skit opens with the pair joking about how Aer Lingus sounds quite similar to the word ‘cunnilingus’.
The American SNL cast member mostly sport off-key Irish accents throughout the skit.
Throughout the four-minute skit, dogs appear on the plane and the runway.
Kate McKinnon shows up to alert passengers to a delay due to a dog. She is shown wearing an Aran sweater.
She says: ‘We’ve got a dog on the runway. It’s got sad eyes and the soul of Oscar Wilde, so we’re going to have to wait.’
Aidy Bryant later comes out to tell passengers what is on the menu for their flight.
She says: ‘We’ve got fingerling potatoes. We’ve got purple potatoes, and we got salmon,” Bryant informs passengers. “I’m sorry, I misread that. The salmon is also potatoes.’
Unimpressed tweeters announced their dissatisfaction with the skit to the world.
Most notably, Aer Lingus itself tweeted at SNL with a 140-character takedown that echoed a similar one made by the current United States president.
The airline tweeted: ‘Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Ronan impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad’
Tweeter rebecca deemed the skit a ‘hate crime’.
Not all the comments were negative.
Ellen Kruger wrote on Twitter: ‘Controversial opinion: the Saoirse Ronan/SNL Aer Lingus skit wasn’t that bad.
‘Instead of painting us as drunk and violent (oh hi Liam Neeson SNL episode), they painted us as weird, dog-loving and badly organised.
‘We need to choose another hill to die on, huns.’
And Clarke has penned an aggressive takedown of the skit for the Irish Times.
He appears to be no friend to SNL, branding it a ‘hit and miss affair’ and ‘a morass of sentimental, liberal, button pushing’.
Not all of the reaction was negative; Ellen Kruger tweeted that it ‘wasn’t that bad’
The Aer Lingus plane was shown to be quite small in the skit. Donald Clarke of the Irish Times said: ‘No British sketch show would now even attempt these levels of Paddywhackery’
He writes: ‘If there were a decent gag in there nobody would awkwardly recall the connotations of the potato in Irish history.
‘No viewers would find themselves considering why so many Irish ended up in the United States.
‘There were no good jokes.’
He continues: ‘Where in the name of blazes does this notion of Ireland come from?’
He concludes: ‘They could have tried just a little harder. Just a little.
‘Anyway, it’s no big deal. We shan’t be demanding the return of our ambassador.
‘Saoirse will still get (and deserve) her Oscar nomination for Lady Bird.’
The Greta Gerwig-directed film stars Ronan as a high school senior in Sacramento, California.
The film has been performing quite well in its platform release and is proving to be a major contender on the awards circuit.ç