SNL Teacher Skit Sketch Sparks Major Backlash
The tongue-in-cheek comedy show Saturday Night Live recently aired a sketch that conjured up legitimate controversy.
In “Teacher Trial,” a young male student named Gavin Daly, played by Pete Davidson, takes the stand to testify at the trial of his “rapist” teacher, Janet Johnson-Luna, played by Cecily Strong.
The SNL Teacher skit pulls no punches from the get-go. When asked if the “victim” can recognize his assailant in the courtroom, his improved reply strikes an immediate off-note with rape victims watching the show:
“Yeah, she’s right over there… lookin’ all fine.”
When asked if he felt pressured into the affair, the student’s character replies:
“No way, I instigated it. I went in after school to ask what I could do for extra credit, and it was on.”
And in response to how long the affair went on?
““Five glorious weeks, ma’am.”
Boasting remarks from Daly were met with winks and smiles from the judge’s character, while teacher Johnson-Luna giggles, smiles and flirts with her student in the courtroom, and a grieving mother character comically wails in the background.
Twitter users say the sketch was “gross” and a “new low” for SNL
Daly goes on to say the affair felt like ‘Disneyland’ and admitted he gave ‘thousands of high fives’ when classmates found out about the relationship.
When asks if he was called names, he lists off a number of terms he was referred to, including ‘the man’, ‘my hero’ and ‘luckiest guy ever’.
After the show aired on Saturday, disgusted viewers expressed their dismay on social media.
Viewers said SNL wouldn’t have done the sketch if genders were reversed:
Scoring with a female teacher might be a common fantasy…
But the reality comes with a steep price.
SNL’s sketch touched on a topic that’s been long-immortalized in popular culture: Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” or Gym Class Heroes with “Scandalous Scholastics” are two memorable tunes that drive the point home. There’s even a “How To” guide for teenage boys wanting to hit on their teachers, proving it’s a very real thought for some teenage boys.
Just because it’s a common fantasy, does that make SNL’s joke funny?
Our brains aren’t fully developed at that time (normally 25 years), and there are several factors that come into play that a teenage boy or young adult simply are unequipped to handle. One of the most prominent cases of a female teacher sleeping with a teenage student is the case of Debra Lafave.
The 2006 case, in which she was found guilty of having sex with a 14-year-old student, got significant media attention because of her physical beauty. In a future interview with Matt Lauer, Lafave admitted that her victim would likely “have a hard time trusting women.” Victims, in this case, could also have difficulty in developing age-appropriate relationships, and have issues with commitment, along with depression, anxiety, and drug addiction.
Even sexual assault by a female teacher can cause permanent damage
If a male teacher were to hook up with a teenage girl, that guy would spend considerable time in jail, and it would be an outrage. It makes sense, as male teachers are 96% of the problem.
With a female teacher, the response seems to be divisive – some might cheer the teenage boy on, or crucify the teacher. Our reaction toward the other 4% should be anything but ambivalent; that includes reactions by the media, community, and law.
Yet, in the legal aspect far from equal
The average time spent in jail for a male sex offender is 11 years while a female sex offender is less than two years. The numbers suggest that women are far less likely to have molested multiple children, but the crime is the same crime.
What do you think – Does our media treat all cases of sexual abuse as if they cause equal damage? Was SNL’s sketch totally out of line?