Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got the “Saturday Night Live” treatment over the weekend, with Kate McKinnon parodying MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace and delivering coverage of the “cuckoo” defamation trial.
The sketch began with McKinnon’s Wallace listing off several key stories that were going to be covered, from the January 6th subpoenas and the baby formula shortage to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
“But we start of course with the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard cuckoo trial,” she began. “Look, I know it’s not the most pertinent story of the moment but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say, ‘Ooh, glad it ain’t me’?”
Unearthed surveillance from the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial pic.twitter.com/DFdtE5uarV
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 15, 2022
“Wallace” then cut to a clip from the defamation trial, zeroing in on questions regarding one of Depp’s claims — namely that Heard had left feces in his bed — and new video evidence showing several members of Depp’s household staff discovering the mess. The judge allowed the video to be admitted as evidence because it was “funny.”
“Okay, I think I’ve seen enough,” the judge concluded. “This trial has given me a lot to consider. One on hand, I believe Mr. Depp’s story, but on the other hand, your constant little smirk lets me know that this is not the first woman you’ve made so mad that she pooped in your bed.”
Critics panned the bit, however, arguing that at best it made light of a serious situation, and at worst it trivialized any abuse Heard might have experienced.
“This is f***ing weird. regardless if you support any of the two in this trial to any extent, it’s bizarre how one of the most publicised domestic abuses cases ever is being spun into a really s**t joke. this doesn’t help victims of abuse at all, and just makes it harder to discuss,” one YouTuber tweeted.
“Imagine being forced to relive traumatic events, trying to find some sort of peace and justice and turning on the tv after a long, traumatic day and seeing this shit mocking the entire thing. The way this case is being turned into mainstream entertainment is disgusting,” another added.
“If my very public intimate partner violence trial was turned into an SNL skit, I would go full Scarlet Witch on 30 Rockefeller Plaza,” Gabrielle Alexa Noelle tweeted.
One account, @writtenbyHanna, also added, “A good time to remember that Lorne Michaels didn’t initially want to make any jokes in reference to Harvey Weinstein.”