But the Supreme Court determined that public figures cannot present a legal challenge against comedy or parody based off of “emotional distress.” Compared to libel or slander, the key difference here is that parody is not presented as a fact, and your typical audience knows it’s not true. People laugh at Baldwin’s petulant Trump
, or Melissa McCarthy’s manic Sean Spicer
, or Matt Damon’s blustering Brett Kavanaugh
, but SNL
doesn’t attempt to present it as reality — just a warped, hyperbolic mirror image of it, as all parody is. Due to Hustler v. Falwell
, satire, including critical or even hurtful satire, has remained protected under constitutional law as a valid and necessary form of free speech.