I’m afraid I might have crossed the line. Last night I portrayed Tiger Woods in a sketch mocking the plight of the best golfer in the world. Originally, I thought it was kinda funny. Actually, it was hilarious. It killed!
I don’t mean that it actually killed anyone. No one was hurt in the sketch. Normally I wouldn’t feel the need to clarify, but I’m feeling a little self-conscious. Some people feel like we were making light of domestic violence, and they’re accusing us of being especially insensitive to our musical guest, Rihanna—a victim of domestic violence herself. But I wasn’t making fun of Rihanna. I was just making fun of Tiger Woods. Or so I thought.
Now I’m not sure what to think. Should I apologize for being insensitive? Are the haters right in being offended? Do I need to be afraid of the critics attacking my SUV with golf clubs? What do I do?
Clubbed in NY
Man, you should not apologize for that sketch. True, there’s nothing funny about domestic violence, but unfortunately the same can be said of Saturday Night Live these days. The Tiger Woods bit was the only chuckle-worthy part of last night’s performance (with the possible exception of Rihanna’s chain-mail headgear).
Spousal abuse isn’t funny, but Tiger’s public statements about the incident deserve to be lampooned. You called attention to the fact that Tiger can somehow deny the allegations that his wife attacked him, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, and get away with it. That’s laughable. Your weapon is humor, and you were right to attack that.
If Tiger’s story had happened to a woman instead of the strongest, most athletic male golfer in the history of the world, the domestic violence rumors couldn’t be swept away so easily. As it is, Tiger’s stuck with the label of “player,” not “victim.” Rihanna, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. She hasn’t just been labeled as a victim, she’s been publicly redefined as such.
Sure, there are some who would have SNL look the other way on the Tiger Woods story. Those same critics found it prudent to shine a spotlight on Rihanna . . . again. If they cared about her feelings, or battered women in general, they would have laughed and cheered at the thought of putting the bruise on the other eye.
Rihanna had no transgression to apologize for. Tiger cheated on his wife, and I’d argue that infidelity is a form of emotional abuse. Tiger gets his privacy. Rihanna gets her ER photographs blasted across the Internet. Passing on this story would have been a travesty. Seems to me you picked the perfect time to make Tiger squirm. The only thing that could have made it better would have been letting Rihanna swing the club.
As for the other 85 minutes of SNL, I’m not sure I can ever forgive you for re-airing the Swine Fever commercial.
Stay relevant, and you just might stay funny,