Maskless ‘SNL’ performance causes outrage as elites prove they don’t have to follow the rules
Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports and an outspoken critic of New York’s deranged COVID-19 policies, announced last week he was raising $500,000 – and perhaps more – to help small business owners hammered by power-hungry, anti-science zealots running the government there.
It’s fair to say that the cast and crew of “Saturday Night Live” won’t be needing Portnoy’s help. That’s because the rules apparently don’t apply to Lorne Michael’s team.
“SNL,” which appears to be an “essential business” under New York’s draconian coronavirus lockdown regulations, came under withering criticism after this weekend’s performance.
After promos for Saturday’s show featured guest host Kristen Wiig, musical guest Dua Lipa and cast member Kate McKinnon all wearing masks, the actual performance included skits in which characters not only eschewed masks but also avoided social distancing guidelines.
As the local NBC affiliate in New York City reported on Dec. 11, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared that if any region in the state is expected to reach 90 percent hospital capacity within 21 days, he would impose a “red zone” shutdown – which meant that nonessential businesses, schools and restaurant table service close in a given region for an indefinite period of time.
“If we don’t slow the spread and we overwhelm the hospital system – we get to a red zone,” Cuomo explained, “then every restaurant goes to zero indoor, outdoor zero. That’s the worst-case scenario.” “We cannot relax until COVID relaxes – and COVID is not relaxing,” Cuomo added.
The NBC outlet noted that New York City at the time had a lower hospitalization rate than most of the rest of the state. But new COVID hospital admissions in New York City had reached the highest totals since May, and that the city’s hospitalization rate per 100,000 residents had been rising every day since Mayor Bill de Blasio said a more intense shutdown was warranted – and likely, based on the trend – if new hospitalizations topped 200 a day.
Yet at “SNL” it was time to introduce a new actor to play President-elect Joe Biden, celebrate the return of Wiig, a former cast member, to the show and ignore pretty much all that Cuomo and de Blasio have been saying about curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
Critics, accordingly, had a field day.
So, @NYGovCuomo is screaming at us not to gather, and if we do make sure we’re wearing masks, 6 feet apart. Restaurants are closed, small businesses too. Families are starving, kids out of school. But @nbcsnl somehow is allowed to do this and have a live audience?! https://t.co/5J7wGmQbHN
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 20, 2020
“So, @NYGovCuomo is screaming at us not to gather, and if we do make sure we’re wearing masks, 6 feet apart. Restaurants are closed, small businesses too. Families are starving, kids out of school. But @nbcsnl somehow is allowed to do this and have a live audience?!” Janice Dean, senior meteorologist for the Fox News Channel, tweeted above a photo of maskless cast members embracing. Dean has been a staunch critic of Cuomo after COVID killed her in-laws, who resided in a nursing home.
“Maybe at some point,” independent journalist Tim Pool tweeted of “SNL,” “people will realize the elites don’t fear COVID at all, are exempt from lockdowns, and are perpetrating the largest transfer of wealth in human history.”
Maybe at some point people will realize the elites don't fear COVID at all, are exempt from lockdowns, and are perpetrating the largest transfer of wealth in human history https://t.co/9nXal7iKaW
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) December 20, 2020