John Krasinski and Pete Davidson’s ‘SNL’ kiss isn’t great for the gay community

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Live, from New York, it’s still a gay show!

At least that’s how I felt watching John Krasinski and Pete Davidson share a kiss on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

The joke went like this: During Krasinski’s opening monologue, the cast members kept interrupting him to ask him questions about “The Office” – including many probing questions about Pam. It was then that Davidson appeared on stage next to him.

“I think they really need someone to be Pam,” Davidson told Krasinski. “I think we have to give them what they want. Jim, I think you should kiss Pam.

So they kissed.

Since then, mixed reactions have flooded social networks. “I didn’t know I needed to see Pete Davidson and John Krasinski kissing until I saw Pete Davidson and John Krasinski kissing,” @ gracewindu25 wrote on Twitter. @ carlyduke24 wrote: “if you missed the kiss from pete davidson and john krasinski on SNL well… you missed a cultural reset sorry.”

The daily beast Writer Kevin Fallon feigned sarcasm: “SNL this week, last week, every week, always and forever: ‘The joke is it’s two guys! They kissed! Got it?!?! This is hilarious! THEY ARE GUYS! Hahahahahaha. ‘”

“John Krasinski / Pete Davidson’s kiss looks a lot like a (expletive) performative queerness”, @MsJLHarper wrote.

To be clear: there is nothing inherently wrong with Davidson and Krasinski kiss. In non-pandemic times, as a gay man, I also like to kiss men.

But to end a comedy with two law men kissing are not the same as accepting gays and couples for who they are. When something that should be seen as “normal” is seen as “spectacle,” we are moving in the wrong direction.

I’m sure there will be a young member of the LGBTQ community watching “SNL” who feels good that two men can kiss each other on national television with a bang. But another child might sit there and realize that this is not something “normal”, and that is why we pay so much attention to it.

This moment reminded me of how I felt when I saw Andrew Garfield and Ryan Reynolds kissing at the Golden Globes four years ago.

A lot can happen in four years. Children graduate from high school. Presidential administrations are giving way to new ones. LGBTQ protections appear in the workplace. But there is still progress to be made on “SNL”.

This is not to say that “SNL” is an indicator of our overall culture. No show could and shouldn’t take all of that responsibility. But the show remains an institution that people watch and discuss regularly, even if it’s just for chatting on a YouTube clip from one of the sketches. This impact is seeping into our culture, prompting Instagram tweets and DMs and Google searches to see the world.

“Saturday Night Live” may have warmed up to LGBTQ culture recently – his Harry Styles skit “Sara Lee” in particular, with gay actor Bowen Yang from last year, is a triumph – but homophobic tendencies and transphobic of the show during “Weekend Update” hardly goes unnoticed.

Hopefully this time around the conversation around the kiss can go beyond just seeing it as a gimmick and end up in a conversation about Why people thought it was outrageous in the first place.

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