December is always a crucial time for the Hallmark Channel — but this year, people have been talking less about the channel’s slate of rom-coms and more about this week’s controversy. After Hallmark aired ads for wedding planning website Zola featuring a same-sex kiss, the conservative group One Million Moms demanded a boycott. In response, Hallmark pulled four of the six ads. This weekend, Saturday Night Live took two opportunities to address the drama head-on with some playful (and not-so-playful) jabs.
On “Weekend Update,” co-anchor Michael Che succinctly summarized the story. “The group One Million Moms is boycotting the Hallmark Channel for airing a commercial featuring a same-sex couple getting married and kissing,” he said. “Ladies, relax. If your kid is watching the Hallmark Channel, he already gay as hell.”
While the group’s reaction isn’t exactly surprising — One Million Moms has attempted boycotts against everything from Toy Story 4 to Kellogg’s for “promoting the LGBTQ+ agenda” — Hallmark’s decision to stop airing the ad earned some snark from the SNL cast during a sketch titled “Hallmark Dating Show.” In the sketch, host Scarlett Johansson plays Lauren, a stereotypical Hallmark leading lady who must decide between three equally stereotypical suitors.
“Lauren, whoever you pick will join you in the Hallmark Gazebo Suite, where you will share a single dry kiss,” says game show host Emily Kringle (Aidy Bryant). When Lauren can’t decide between a farmer from her hometown, a European prince, and a man who may or may not be Santa Claus, Emily quips, “Why don’t we bring in...the one black person in town?” (Of course, that one character freezes when asked about his backstory and even his name.)
After a surprise appearance from her dad and a gifted magical snow globe, Lauren realizes she just can’t choose between her bachelors. Bryant delivers a final diss, though: “I’m Emily Kringle from Hallmark,” she says, smirking at the camera, “reminding you to stay straight out there.”