As fictional members of E! desperately try to be relevant, their attempts fall short in a sketch on this week's Saturday Night Live. Host Sam Rockwell joined an overeager fashion panel as they recapped the looks at the Golden Globes.
"Welcome to The Look, E!'s red carpet rundown where we are now fashion positive," says Cecily Strong's character as she introduces the segment. She and the rest of the panel can be seen sporting Time's Up pins. "The times are changing, and we're trying to keep up!"
SNL goes straight for a dig at the entertainment network. "On the count of three, let's say what we get paid..." Rockwell's co-hosting character suggests referring to the news earlier this month of former E! News host Catt Sadler leaving the network after discovering a disparity in pay between herself and her colleague Jason Kennedy. Clearly, the old way of critically hosting fashion recaps no longer fits in 2018. When women are talking about workplace parity and men being held accountable for harassment and assault, passing an overly harsh opinion on whether someone's dress made you want to "puke or barf" seems passé; however, their attempts at relevance seem equally, albeit more humorously, misplaced.
"I don’t even see a dress, I see a CEO," Cecily Strong's character says as she describes Kate Hudson's outfit. "She looks empowered," Rockwell asserts. Keenan Thompson's character questions his answer the moment it comes out of his mouth. "She definitely looks as good as a man, if not better. Can I say that?" Their guest host for the night, a director of a women's shelter, offers what should be an uncomplicated compliment saying that Hudson looks "beautiful." Her compliment is immediately met with disapproval from the rest of the panel. "Let's try not to judge people based on their looks," rebukes Rockwell.
The hosts went on to boo the news that Eva Longoria was expecting a boy, much to the confusion of their guest host.
The sketch also poked fun at the censoring of Frances McDormand's speech as she accepted the award of best performance by an actress in a motion picture. Kate McKinnon as McDormand briefly joined the panel, and while we couldn't make out everything she was saying through the bleeping, we did find out that she was wearing the dress she wore in a 1992 production of The Crucible.
This sketch brings up a good question. How will entertainment and pop culture coverage change this year in light of the Me Too and Time's Up movements? Statements are being made and people are coming together in support of women whether they work in Hollywood or not. Does that mean the era of harsh criticism over personal decisions such as fashion is over, and the topics of causes and social justice can come to the red carpet instead?
Underscoring the dichotomous nature of pop culture, which can be slow moving in terms of lasting and positive change, Strong signs off by reminding their viewers that women are "powerful and strong." She then adds that they should stay tuned for a show whose title suggests the complete opposite.
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