People love that Adele broke character during a Saturday Night Live sketch. What they don’t love is the sketch itself.
Viewers are criticizing the sketch in question for fetishizing African men. However, in that same sketch, and Adele broke character, and fans are calling it the best moment of the night.
The British singer broke down in laughter during a sketch about the “Tourism Board of Africa.”
Standing beside cast members Kate McKinnon and Heidi Gardner, the 32-year-old singer played a divorcée who recounts her encounters in “beautiful, beautiful Africa.”
The trio listed reasons why tourists should travel to Africa, stressing the benefits of the “tribesmen.” Adele giggled as she noted the “lush, dangling foliage.”
McKinnon’s character described her travels to Africa to find a “new beginning” following her divorce. The “Hello” singer continued about a “deep, deep connection” to the continent, struggling to deliver her words without laughing.
“You can feel it in your stomach,” Gardner added, reemphasizing the transparent sexual euphemisms.
But in the end, Adele broke character, doubled over with laughter, while experienced vets Gardner and McKinnon held tight.
The skit poked fun at the obviously long-known, racist practice of white men and women participating in sex travel in African countries.
Controversy aside, many agreed that Adele killed on SNL:
i think we can all agree that adele on snl is the best thing that happened this year. pic.twitter.com/pRaWAVRNll
— adele's fan (@queenadeleslays) October 25, 2020
I love Adele. She is so dope and had me dying when she laughed during Africa skit. Those moments are some of the best moments🤪😂😂. It’s real! #SNL
— shy johns (@keemi2viverant) October 25, 2020
However, the skit itself was dragged through the streets of social media for its racist angle.
“I think that creating satire to prove a point can be meaningful but this approach was straight-up problematic,” wrote @peachy_keane.
I promise…I promise. I’m not in think piece mode on a Saturday night. But not feeling this #snl Africa skit aside from Adele breaking. If you’re gonna try to touch that, it’s gotta be just a little smarter & more nuanced or don’t touch it at all. Not rn.
— Dometi Pongo (@Dometi_) October 25, 2020
This Africa sketch is…racist. #SNL
— kim giordano (@supersinga) October 25, 2020
The whole white women going to Africa for “tribesmen” was just gross. Half of Twitter is laughing about Adele breaking character and the other half is enraged. But really let’s focus on how inappropriate that was, not Adele laughing. SNL get your shit together. #SNL
— ⓔkeane (@peachy__keane) October 25, 2020
Adele, the woman dating black men and wearing Bantu knots, decided to be ok joining in on a skit about divorced white women going to Africa to fetishize black men?
— chicken (@BitchassChicken) October 25, 2020
Adele was accused of cultural appropriation in August when she posted a photo of herself on Instagram, dressed up to celebrate the Notting Hill Carnival, an African-Caribbean event.
It was also a tonal misfire, given the ongoing events in Nigeria.
What a fucking dumpster fire of a joke to make as people are being killed in the streets of Nigeria #endsars
— Prince Shakur (@prshakur) October 25, 2020
The hashtag, #EndSARS, started in 2017, as local activists have called for abolishing a federal police unit called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
For nearly three decades, SARS has existed, with critics saying the force regularly abuses its authority, including extrajudicial beatings, hangings, mock executions, sexual assault, and waterboarding. Amnesty International said the organization has information on 82 SARS abuse cases over the past three years alone.