I actually tried to send this, but there is a 500 character limit in the feedback allowed to NBC about SNL. So I’ll just leave this here.
My name is Natalie and I have concerns about your most recent Weekend Update. I’ve tried writing this message many times, but am failing to find the words to adequately explain to you what it’s like to watch my wife and people like her be blatantly endangered via dead-naming and jokes on your show. I thought we were in 2019, a time where liberal media understood transgender people face incredible discrimination and should no longer be subject to the same jokes I expect to see in reruns of Will and Grace or Friends from 15-20 years ago. I thought I lived in a world where your show aired Don Cheadle wearing a “Protect Trans Kids” t-shirt while hosting. I thought I lived in a world where I could turn toward your show and expect reprieve from the family events where my wife’s father won’t speak to her, where she is constantly reminded by ignorant people she is not born in the right body. It is unfortunate to realize I thought wrong.
I tuned in on Saturday night expecting to laugh, expecting for you to once again lift my spirits during what is the most stressful time of my life. Now, I know you didn’t promise me this. You (the show, its creators and writers) did not contractually sign an agreement with me, Natalie Wood, wife of a transgender person which guaranteed my laughter or reprieve with each episode you create.
That said, there is an accountability I have come to expect from the show which regularly makes fun of the ridiculous state of our government and the policies which continue to confound and repress the people who are governed by it. I expect to not be devastated while watching Michael Che poke fun at Kanye West, a person suffering from mental illness, and essentially equating him to a trans person as a result of the artwork Kanye produced. I guess, overall, I expect more. I’m disappointed that I live in a time where this email won’t even make it to a person who matters and will respond to me. I’m disappointed I have to fight this fucking hard to protect my wife BECAUSE SHE IS WHO SHE IS AND PEOPLE DON’T WANT HER TO BE. I’m disappointed you set back our fight for equality because you allow a joke to be more important than the people the joke is about. Do better. We deserve it. If you don’t start fighting for our equality with your platform, who else will?