SNL's Leslie Jones Jokes About Slavery In Unladylike Fashion And So Many Sad Tears Are Shed

Oh, Saturday Night Live. We never watch you, but other people bother to watch and find funny things. There were funny things this weekend! The Beygency thing was hilarious and then new-ish writer Leslie Jones came on Weekend Update and she killed it dead with jokes about sex and slavery, which has many many people being sad all over.

Jones’s jokes (WHICH WERE HILARIOUS DID WE MENTION THEY WERE HILARIOUS?) boiled down to her saying that in the slave era her strength and size would have been valued and therefore she would get the bestest plantation and the honor of squeezing out babies all the time.

Back in the slave days, my love life would have been way better. Master would have hooked me up with the best brother on the plantation and every nine months I’d be in the corner having a super baby. Every nine months I’d be in the corner just popping them out. Shaq! Kobe! Lebron! […]

I would be the number one slave draft pick. All of the plantations would want me.

You guys, that is funny! Yes yes we realize that joking about slavery and sex is a bit fraught, and we can guarandamtee we wouldn’t make these jokes because we are so pale as to be almost translucent, but Leslie Jones is fucking ON it here, pointing out that slavery and forced sexual relations were a fucked up thing that valued only the ability to work and reproduce. But because every person has to have an opinion about every last thing AND often that opinion is either concern troll fake sad or LOOK AT ME I HAVE A FEELS sad, people had to display much sadmad at Jones’s words.

Critics of the bit were upset that it implied that black female slaves forced to breed with black male slaves somehow enjoyed it, that slave breeding was consensual when in fact it was institutionally sanctioned rape. Some also read into the bit an implication that female slaves prized for being strong and good for bearing strong children would somehow take pride in their physical stature, which actually would have invited more sexual abuse from their captors.

Hmmm. If you watch Jones’s bit and actually think the subtext there is “yay, slavery and forced sex is the BOMB” you actually do not understand how humor works and you probably shouldn’t be reading this website.

We’re pretty pleased that Jones took to the Twitters to call people out on their whining.

“If anybody should be offended is white folks cause it’s what they did. Y’all so busy trying to be self righteous you miss what the joke really is. Very sad I have to defend myself to black people. Now I’m betting if Chris Rock or Dave did that joke or jay z or Kanye put in a rap they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do this type of material. Just cause it came from a strong black woman who ain’t afraid to be real y’all mad.”

Yep, that. A dude showing up with that bit would have been considered edgy as fuck, but a lady just shouldn’t joke about things like the sexual enslavement of ladies. It’s unseemly. Perhaps Jones can go back to doing pictures of cute kittens or knock knock jokes or whatever the hell else it is people think ladies should be talking about. Oh wait, she should not do that, because she is funny. Not funny enough to get us to watch SNL on the regular, because then we’d have to weed through so much dreck, but totally funny enough that we will fire up Hulu when she is on, which is as much as a commitment to SNL as we’re going to make.

[Jezebel]

TV Show: Saturday Night Live

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  • Annie Towne

    See? Cliven Bundy was right. Slaves DO have the best time.

  • Klem Johansen

    Loved the bit, but I really don’t buy the “you wouldn’t be offended by this if a guy had done this joke” argument. People would have been offended anyway because that’s what makes them feel alive. At the same time, folks do the “if only my unchangeable identity were slightly different I’d be more successful” routine for the same reason.

  • gingerland62

    Sometimes it is easier to make a point through humor.

  • Blendawendy

    You’re right, she was hysterical. And the point shouldn’t be lost that she was making a very adept comparison to slavery and sports, which made it double-funny. I’m as progressive and “politically correct” as the next person, but political correctness is the death of humor and personally, I’d rather laugh.

  • Froggage

    Only thing that offended me about the whole thing was Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux stating on Twitter that Jones was “acting like a big loud monkey.” Such a huge fan of black folks going at other black folks with racially charged insults; it’s always the best way to open an intelligent dialogue.