Critics weren’t laughing at “Saturday Night Live” and other late-night comedy shows after they passed on the opportunity to highlight the scandal swirling around Harvey Weinstein.
HBO’s John Oliver was critical of the filmmaker in a segment on his program Sunday.
“Step aside, ‘Chocolat,’ you are no longer the most horrifying picture that Harvey Weinstein has ever produced,” Oliver said, in reference to a journalist’s allegation that Weinstein masturbated in front of her years ago.
“SNL” originally planned to address the Weinstein saga after he was accused in a New York Times expose of making unwanted sexual advances toward multiple Hollywood hopefuls over the past three decades. A sketch parodying the situation, as well as a few jokes in the “Weekend Update” segment, were cut from the program after not getting much of a reaction from the studio audience, according to The New York Times.
Show creator Lorne Michaels told a Daily Mail reporter after the episode’s after-party that no jokes were included about the embattled Oscar-winning filmmaker because “it’s a New York thing” — meaning the national audience might not be as familiar with the Weinstein accusations.
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The decision to give Weinstein a pass led to considerable criticism from some conservatives, who chalked it up as the liberal media failing to take down one of their own.
President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., didn’t buy Michaels’ excuse, pointing out that his father — a frequent subject of “SNL” spoofs — is also from New York.
“Out of curiosity where is @realdonaldtrump from??? Seems like there could be more to that pass than this nonsense,” Trump Jr. tweeted Sunday.
Weinstein, 65, was fired from his own company, The Weinstein Company, by the board of directors Sunday amid the allegations.