Advocates call out ‘SNL’ over stereotypes, errors in sickle cell skit

Mary Brown, the director of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation, was upset about a Saturday Night Live skit that made a mockery of sickle cell disease. The skit contained stereotypes and made sickle cell, which affects 100,000 Americans, look like a joke. Three sickle cell advocacy groups condemned the sketch, and advocates felt that the skit was disrespectful and harmful. They also argued that the skit portrayed a message of a “white savior” and ignored important facts about sickle cell disease. They believe that Saturday Night Live should have highlighted the barriers to accessing therapy instead of using sickle cell as a punchline. The skit drew criticism for perpetuating falsehoods and stereotypes that have harmed sickle cell patients and held back progress for decades. Beyond being irresponsible, for patients, the skit was truly painful.

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