Posted on April 7, 2021

Doctors Are Criticizing SNL for Unfairly Stereotyping Black People and Vaccine Hesitancy

Allana Akhtar, Business Insider, April 4, 2021

Health care workers are questioning why SNL aired a skit that stereotyped Black Americans’ views of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Actor and SNL host Daniel Kaluuya starred in a skit called “Will You Take It” on April 3, featuring three Black cast members (Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim) and guest Punkie Johnson.

Kaluuya played a doctor who offered money to four high-risk people in exchange for the COVID-19 vaccine. None of the four Black contestants took the cash offer, which grew to $5,000, for the vaccine. Uncle Derek, played by Thompson, said the vaccine wasn’t “worth it” for him despite having two heart attacks, and Aunt Shauna, played by Johnson, said she cannot take the shot because a Facebook post told her Christians can’t take it.

Black physicians criticized the skit’s stereotypical depiction of vaccine hesitancy among Black people, who are the fastest growing demographic to say they have either taken or will take the vaccine. {snip}

“How did this skit even make it on air?” Dr. Uché Blackstock, the founder of Advancing Health Equity, wrote on Twitter. “It’s deeply problematic – making fun of Black folks declining the vaccine, especially without any context – past and ongoing racism within and outside healthcare institutions. You all should know better by now.”


“This skit is irresponsible as it further perpetuates vaccine disparities as being due to Black Americans being ignorant for a good laugh and portrays black healthcare providers as manipulative,” said family physician Krys Foster on Twitter. “The more I think about it, the more my stomach turns.”