SNL accused of ‘bullying’ Jojo Siwa with brutal sketch mocking former child star

Some viewers thought ‘SNL’ had crossed a line

Louis Chilton
Sunday 05 May 2024 11:53 BST
JoJo Siwa came out with support of 'super-encouraging' girlfriend

A new Saturday Night Live sketch mocking 20-year-old child star-turned-pop musician Jojo Siwa has prompted a divisive reaction from audiences.

During yesterday’s (4 May) episode of the popular US variety show, Chloe Fineman appeared as Siwa during the Weekend Update section.

Siwa, 20, has been the subject of ridicule online in recent weeks after rebranding herself as an “edgy” pop star, wearing garish black outfits inspired by the rock band KISS. She was also criticised for claiming to have invented a “new genre” of music called “gay pop”.

The SNL sketch made light of Siwa’s rebrand, with Fineman dressed in the same outfit from Siwa’s music video “Karma.”

“That’s right, Colin,” she tells host Colin Jost. “I’m a bad girl now! Yeah, it’s a pretty big change. I used to be way more sparkles and now I’m black sparkles.”

The sketch then goes on to make fun of Siwa’s outfit, as well as her comments about her sexuality. “I’m 20 and I’m gay!” Fineman’s character says. “I’m the first gay girl in the world! Bet you never met a gay girl before!”

The real Siwa rose to fame as a dancer on the US series Dance Moms between 2015 and 2016. She came out as gay in 2021.

Some viewers argued that the show’s mockery of Siwa crossed the line, with one YouTube commentator writing that the skit was “starting to border on straight up bullying”.

“I was onboard making fun of her, but the more I learn about her, the more I feel sorry for her. No one, and I mean no one, is looking out for that girl,” they wrote.

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“Not to be like in the defense of Jojo cause she is super cringe but SNL seems like they should be above just fully making fun of her like this, though it is funny and accurate,” another opined.

“Wtf,” someone else commented. “Look, I’m not a Jojo Siwa fan, but a bunch of adults getting together to make fun of a 20-year-old is just awful and pathetic. Just let her be a young person and figure out how to be a young adult. No I don’t think the ‘Karma’ video is the best rebrand but why on earth do you guys care so much?

SNL still leaves a bad taste in my mouth I cant fully point out why but for this? it’s a bit horrid knowing Jojo Siwa grew up in an abusive environment, is very sheltered and doesn’t really know what a normal life is then she gets picked on for like having an annoying dance thing,” commented a fourth.

Chloe Fineman as Jojo Siwa on ‘SNL'
Chloe Fineman as Jojo Siwa on ‘SNL' (NBC)

“Guys it’s over SNL killed Jojo Siwa we can all go home now,” another person joked.

Others took issue with Fineman’s vocal impression, which appeared to imbue the character of “Siwa” with a speech impediment.

“She simply does not have this speech impediment she gave her, that’s the whole Crux of her impression. It’s simply lazy and borderline ignorant, let alone easy, low hanging fruit to pile on this f***in 20-year-old girl. If you’re gonna do it, put some effort into the impression,” someone else wrote.

However, others were more positive about the sketch, with some people branding it a “highlight” and praising Fineman’s impression.

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