Look, 2016 was a very bad year that a lot of people would like to forget, what with all the celebrity deaths and a divisive presidential election. And this Sunday’s Oscars remind us of another cloud that darkened the year — the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
In case you’ve forgotten, the hashtag began trending in response to the fact that all 20 actors and actresses nominated in the lead and supporting categories were white (for the second year in a row).
Hollywood has done better this year, with people of color nominated in all four acting categories — and several with frontrunner status, like Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Viola Davis (Fences).
But last year, the backlash was heavy, and the controversy was mentioned during the ceremony by host Chris Rock. And no surprise, Saturday Night Live waded into the fray as well, with this biting sketch set at the “Screen Guild Awards.”
The nominees become more increasingly ridiculous, as a white actor is honored for a small role in a predominantly black film. There’s the cameraman who accidentally wanders into a Beasts of No Nation stand-in. Or the library clerk who shushes Thurgood Marshall in a biopic.
Meanwhile, the stars of those movies give their white castmates major side-eye — Leslie Jones should’ve gotten an award just for the expression on her face.
SNL returns with a new episode hosted by Octavia Spencer on March 4.