The cold open of Saturday Night Live satirized the differing perceptions of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, including the assumption among whites that justice actually will be served.
The skit featured the news program Eye on Minnesota and their four person anchor team — with Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim as anchors seated on the left, facing Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat as news personalities on the right — as they discuss what has transpired so far in the case.
“I thought the prosecution did an excellent job questioning the medical examiner,” McKinnon said at the outset.
“The video footage alone should tell you everything you need to know about what happened…And hopefully, justice will be served,” Moffat said.
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“That sounds like we all agree. There is no way Derek Chauvin walks away from all of this,” McKinnon said.
Then the camera shifts to Thompson and Nwodim, who said, “Well…“
“Wait a second. You guys aren’t buying Chauvin’s defense, are you?” Moffat asks.
“Of course not,” Thompson said.
“I mean, the defense trying to make a case that George Floyd’s drug use is somehow responsible is just deplorable,” Nwodim said.
“It was a clear act of desperation to create doubt where there is none,” Thompson said.
“Exactly. And there’s no way the jury is going to fall for that!” McKinnon said.
Then Thompson and Nwodim chimed in, again expressing doubts. “We don’t know about that.”
The skit went on to highlight the white anchors faith in the system against the skepticism of their Black counterparts.
“Let’s just say, ‘We’ve seen this movie before,” Nwodim said.
“Boom!” Thompson said.
“Historically, police officers have gotten away in other cases like this,” McKinnon said.
“Historically?” Thompson said. “She means every single time,” Nwodim said.
But through the skit, McKinnon and Moffat continue to give away their naivety about the system.
“I want to choose my words carefully here, so to quote Thomas Jefferson,” Moffat said.
“That’s a bad start,” Thompson said.
Later, the talk about the possible fallout and the hope that justice is finally served,
“The last thing we want is another riot,” Thompson said.
“Amen to that,” Nwodim said.
Then Moffat took it another step further. “And I think we can all agree that no matter how bad things are, destroying property is never the answer.”
Then Thompson and Nwodim were not exactly going for it. “I wouldn’t say that,” Nwodim said. “…There’s insurance.”
“It’s not just property. I just think protests should be nonviolent,” Moffat said, in a bit of a haughty tone.
Thompson responded, sarcastically, “Well thank you for that little note.”
The funniest moment of the opener came toward the end, when they turn to other topics in the news.
“More sad news. Unfortunately we lost royalty yesterday,” McKinnon said.
“Yes, the rapper DMX died,” Nwodim said.
“I was talking about the Prince,” McKinnon corrected.
“Girl, prince been dead,” Nwodim shot back.
“No, she means Prince Philip of England,” Moffat said.
“Meghan Markle’s boyfriend?” Thompson said.
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