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SNL is accused of cultural appropriation in a sketch about Gen Z slang
Update: In response to the backlash against SNL, co-headwriter and “Weekend Update” anchor Michael Che posted a statement on Instagram. “I read how my ‘gen z’ sketch abused AAVE and I was stunned because the f – is ‘AAVE’? I had to look it up, ”he wrote in a post that has now been deleted. “It turns out to be an acronym for ‘African American English’. You know AAVE! The old adage that real blacks use all the time in conversations… ”Che received a backlash for defending the show and sketch rather than investigating the damage done by appropriating black slang. Since then, he has completely removed his post. This story was originally published on May 10th. This weekend’s Saturday Night Live episode was already full of controversy. Hosted by tech billionaire Elon Musk, SNL has been facing backlash for weeks because they decided to appoint a COVID conspirator billionaire. To make matters worse, Musk, disguised as a comedian, took part in one of the more offensive sketches of the show last year. In a segment called “Gen Z Hospital,” SNL tried to shed some light on Gen Z slang, but it turned out to be a deeply troublesome routine appropriated by African American Vernacular English (AAVE). During the sketch, a group of friends disguised as stereotypical Gen Zers – pastel colored hair, fanny packs over their shoulders, absolutely no skinny jeans, the whole nine – were in a hospital waiting room and really wanted to hear news from them “Beast”, who was in a car accident while doing tricks on Instagram Live. The entire sketch then shows the actors as Gen Zers speaking to Musk, who played the doctor (heaven forbids), in a certain slang: They described their “beast” as “L” and greeted her as “real”. “And then we managed to move the sentences” bro “,” bruh “,” no cap “,” stan “,” go off, king “,” sis “and” cuh “in a few minutes. When her beast died, The sketch ended with an “iconic” Supreme urn, “It’s that __ for me” memorials and a group selfie.Of course, the authors of this sketch saw it as a fun exercise to ridicule an entire generation, but what they did was to rename AAVE Gen Z slang, and it didn’t go down well – especially with blacks online. “I love the rebranding of AAVE and a couple of different BLACK LGBTQ + phrases when ‘Gen z’ speaks,” wrote a Twitter user on Sunday. “I love to see the deletion in real time.” AAVE – a slang that is rooted in African and Caribbean Creole English dialects – was created in black communities that were enslaved to one another generations ago to communicate. Some words, like “illuminated”, “bae “and” kill “have managed to enter the mainstream, often because they are popularized by black musicians. And while the appropriation of these terms is so widespread, it is completely different when a for-profit platform that has reached millions of people across generations uses an entire language for comedy. “This is why black people (AA) want gatekeep,” tweeted another person. “Aave isn’t a fun internet language created by some teenagers on TikTok, nor is it slang, it’s a whole dialect with its own rules. During slavery, black people literally spoke like this – more words were added and changed, but aave is still a part of black culture. “As long as AAVE has been co-opted by the Internet – especially by white communities, both queer and cis – black history continues to be extinct. “Sis” and “fam” and “cuh” are not terms that were created on TikTok so that whites can appropriate jokes. These words and phrases come from a history of resistance. And blacks have been criticized for generations for not using “real” English until people on the Internet adopted our language. The origins of our language are constantly being erased, quickly stolen and co-opted for mainstream comedy. AAVE was repackaged as cute. But attributing AAVE to an entire generation of young people – over and over again – will continue to hurt black communities in this country. SNL has yet to issue a statement on the use of AAVE. Neither did Elon Musk, who participated in the sketch. But does that really surprise anyone? After all, they once had well-known racists who hosted the show. Do you like what you see? How about a little more R29 grade right here? Pete Davidson Doesn’t Get It All Elon Musk DramaSNL Shouldn’t Be A Playground For BillionairesShane Gillis won’t join SNL