Adele and Saturday Night Live have come under fire for a controversial sketch on October 24 in which the pop singer and series regular Kate McKinnon played white divorcees lusting over African men.
During her hosting debut on the popular programme, the singer performed a three-minute sketch in which she, McKinnon and later Heidi Gardner, made fun of white middle-aged divorcees who travel to the African continent for no-strings-attached sex.
Backed by a beach at sunset and walking toward the camera, Adele and McKinnon front a mock African Tourist Board ad encouraging women to visit for the scenery and X-rated attractions, boasting repeatedly about its “tribesmen” and “massive bamboos”.
At one point, a shirtless Black man can be seen strolling into shot, arm-in-arm with an older white woman.
Watch it below:
Though Adele’s hosting efforts were largely praised, many have expressed their regret and surprise at Adele’s taking part in such a sketch, as CNN has pointed out.
When SNL reruns this mostly-good Adele episode in a 60-minute window, that Africa sketch will end up memory-holed. Holy hell, that was cringey.
— alexquigley (@alexquigley) October 25, 2020
Never thought I’d hate Adele and stop watching SNL but I really think that was an innappropriate sketch about “Africa”
— Masheke 🤙🏾 Made in 🇿🇲🇿🇲🇿🇲 (@MashekeMalimba) October 26, 2020
#SNL Did I really just see a sketch about white women using Africa as their buffet for oversexed and overendowed African "tribesmen" who carry them around on their shoulders starring Adele fresh off a Bantu knot minstrel show outrage? Truly unbelievable. #readtheroom pic.twitter.com/wc8Yw5N2F3
— Aretha (@amightystream) October 25, 2020
the *only* SNL sketch where Adele couldn’t keep from laughing was an “African Tourism Board” bit where the underlying premise was a blatantly shitty racial stereotype. everyone involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.
— Allison Hussey (@allisonhussey) October 25, 2020
On Twitter, Vibe journalist Shenequa Golding commented that the skit was “tone def [sic], insensitive and inappropriate” given the current EndSARS protests taking place on the continent.
“Men and women in Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa and The Democratic Republic of the Congo are fighting for their lives and to reduce the continent as sexual destination for white women is shameful,” she wrote.
In September, Adele was hit by accusations of cultural appropriation after she shared a photo to Instagram in which she wore Bantu knots and a Jamaican flag bikini top, celebrating what would have been the weekend of the 2020 Notting Hill Carnival, an annual celebration of Black British culture.
“Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London,” Adele captioned the post, before signing off with the British and Jamaican flag emojis.
Many of Adele’s followers claimed that the artist’s choice of hairstyle – traditional among people of African descent – was exemplary of cultural appropriation.