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SNL Mocks NY Governor's Blindness — Does It Cross the Line?

SNL Mocks NY Governor's Blindness — Does It Cross the Line?

Being the butt of an SNL parody usually means a politician has secured national recognition, but NY Governor David Paterson was none too pleased when the show mocked his blindness this weekend. In the sketch, the New York governor is lambasted for his past drug use, extramarital affair, and the fact that he's legally blind. Paterson, who said he can take a joke, reacted to the sketch today calling it:

A "third-grade depiction of people and the way they look" that could lead others to believe that "disability goes hand in hand with an inability to run a government or business. I run the place I work in, so I don't have to be worried about being discriminated against."

Do you agree with Gov. Paterson that such a depiction could lead to discrimination of the blind?

Join The Conversation
Mina-Xue Mina-Xue 8 years
LOL you missed spelled blind! However, on topic, I have to agree lilprisci.
lilprisci lilprisci 8 years
Hey momma tikita, thanks for the feedback. I didn't realize that he could see a little; if he watched it himself, he has a right to feel however he wants about it. My point about a blind person not knowing how they're being portrayed wasn't implying that we should then go ahead and make fun of other disabilities - that implication would only hold if you feel that they were "making fun" of his disability, which I think is the main question and what has caused people to speak up. Some people, like myself feel it was more of a physical portrayal and that they WERE making fun of him (but not his blindness) and his lack of experience, ability, judgment, etc. to govern. If the governor himself watched the skit (and wasn't told by someone else about it) and he feels offended, then he has every right to. I just don't think we have to feel offended for him.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Mommatikita: ""Also, how is it offensive to the blind person who can't even watch the skit to begin with?" So lets make fun of mentally challenged people..they wont know what were doing since you know, their retarded. Or we could make fun of deaf people behind their backs!" Good point! I read that first quite and was, making fun of people who don't realize they are being made fun of is super classy... I think making fun of a permanent disability or characteristic like blindness is a lot different than making fun of something someone can change, like knowing which countries comprise North America. Plus, I have heard so many people say things like, "dude how could we let a BLIND man lead our state!?" Paterson is doing a better job than Spitzer did, and I would prefer SNL didn't make fun of his disability because I can just imagine all the a-holes laughing and questioning his ability to lead. Then again, maybe SNL expects people to be smarter than they really are.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
"Jizz in My Pants" was a pretty funny digital short too. Dude, Sarah.... I can't get that song out of my head. I'm just hoping I don't start singing it out loud while I'm at work.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I just don't think Fred Armisen is that funny. I just consistently find his skits boring. I feel like they are trying to push him, though...he is always in the promos now. They need to find a different star to push!
mariposa23 mariposa23 8 years
ok first of all, for those of you who are all like "is there anyone who even watches snl anymore?" yes, obviously there are. and it's gotten funny again, so i'd check it out if you can find the time. second, i saw the skit saturday night and i am definitely a sensitive person, but i couldn't help laughing...maybe not so much at all of the jokes about his cocaine use, whatever. but once he got up and was all in front of the cameras...that was FUNNY. there's just something about people walking in front of if they don't know worked when they caricatured mccain during the 2nd pres debate, it worked when they had the crazy gop lady "i've read about him, he's an arab" on weekend update as well...there's just something about people walking in front of cameras. i don't know why, but it's pretty hilarious.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Nica that was the real funny part! I said it earlier :)
nicachica nicachica 8 years
mmm...i was more offended by how unfunny it was than by them making fun of his blindness. the only funny part of it was when he walking in front of the camera when Amy was giving her thank you speech. of course, they did the same thing with the Crazy McCain lady earlier in the season too so i guess the humorous part lies in walking in front of the cameras without realizing you're doing it?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Eh... I didn't think it was funny.
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
i find this very offending for people from NEW JERSEY! it barley touched at his blindness.. thats just how he looks.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
I do not find this offensive. The blind along with every other type of person has been made fun of on SNL & in films/tv; now you have outrage? Please. Yes, jokes can be taken over the line however I do not feel that is the case this time. It wasn't cruel, just dark humor dished in light-hearted way. Does that make sense? :?
krae85 krae85 8 years
I watched this, and I consider myself a pretty sensitive person but I didn't think this crossed the line. Sometimes, though, they do.
kia kia 8 years
I thought the skit was funny but people are EASILY influenced in matters they know nothing about. Most people are not familiar with visually impaired folks and already don't know how to react around them. This skit will not help with people already speaking louder to blind people or treating them like they are not smart. My mom and stepfather are both blind... I make all kinds of inappropriate jokes with them as part of our relationship when we tease each other. I know they are capable though of many things that I see strangers question about them. When there are few portrayals of the visually impaired in the media, they need to be more positive.
mommahello mommahello 8 years
Funny. perhaps, I didnt see it. I will tell you this: in the earliest yrs I saw a skit where a babydoll was exhibited like a real baby. The actor beat and smashed the 'baby' repeatedly on a table with parts flying everywhere. The live audience laughed at this! I was appalled. I remember thinking, "what has this entertainment world come to whereby they can treat child abuse as fodder for a joke. That's the mentality of Lorne Michaels and his ilk.
caryatid caryatid 8 years
When I saw the headline on CNN "Governor Upset About SNL Portrayal", I honestly thought it was about Blago and was surprised to see it was about Paterson. I didn't really see the skit as anymore offensive than any number of other ones they have done (Janet Reno, Bill Clinton?).
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
I'm on the fence over this one. Its funny that Nya mentioned Stevie because he popped into my head... Quoting her: "while we're at it let's ask stevie wonder how he feels about being the most mocked and lampooned man in comedy history" Yeah, its so strange that you happened to mention him because the first thought I had was "they've made fun of Stevie's blindness for..uh..DECADES NOW." On the other hand, making fun of blindness makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I guess my general rule is this: If a person can help it, its funnier than when they can't. I.E....someone's color, gender, age, or disability. I just have a hard time finding amusement in something that I know is just a part of a person, and sometimes to their discomfort, such as being blind or not having a limb, etc. But when we start talking about other things - things people can do something about, things they can avoid (and should, usually)..then its another story. I just can't really say there's an easy answer to this, since this guy technically encompassed both sides, at least in my book.
liliblu liliblu 8 years
"this just makes life harder for the bind." Shouldn't that be blind not bind?
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
I watch SNL when I have time. As for this, I wasn't offended, but I'm not blind. I will say that if anyone is going to think he is "unable to run a government" chances are it's because of the whole admitted drug use/extramarital affair situation, and not some SNL skit that, apparently according to all of you, no one watched anyway.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
oops :oops: it was posted!
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
bah I posted something and it was flagged. basically lilprisci...he isn't blind completely he can still see out of one of his eyes. secondly what does it matter whether he could or couldn't see the clip..Im sure knowing that people were making fun of his disability wouldn't feel right.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I meant to say that I don't watch SNL often, but I did for Hugh Laurie this past weekend.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I didn't think it was offensive. Also, I don't watch SNL, but I do love the Lonely Island dudes! Ardy, Jorma, and Akiva have my heart! <33
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
lilprisci he is legally blind but he can still see out of his right eye. So I'm sure people didn't have to tell him how they were making fun of him he saw it for himself. "Also, how is it offensive to the blind person who can't even watch the skit to begin with?" So lets make fun of mentally challenged people..they wont know what were doing since you know, their retarded. Or we could make fun of deaf people behind their backs!
Myst Myst 8 years
I think it's in poor taste. They could've done it better
piper23 piper23 8 years
I'm a supporter of equal-opportunity offending. I didn't find this particularly funny but it wasn't because I was offended.
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