After Issa Rae joined the small list of Black women who have hosted Saturday Night Live (there have only been 12 others before her in the show’s 45-year history), many people applauded her performance on the variety show. Except for Kanye West, the subject of one of the jokes on last Saturday’s episode.
In a sketch called “Your Voice Chicago,” which featured SNL veteran Keenan Thompson as the host of a public access early-morning talk show about local politics in Chicago, and cast mate Ego Nwodim as a journalist for The Root. Rae joined the sketch as a council member of Chicago’s NAACP chapter, and made a joke in reference to her “I’m rooting for everybody Black” comments on the red carpet at the 2017 Emmy Awards.
“I’m voting for everybody Black” in the upcoming Presidential election, Rae said. “For too long our people’s voices have not been heard.”
As the sketch continues, when presented with options of candidates for local politics, Rae’s character flip flops on her reasoning behind voting for all of the Black candidates—until she is presented with the options for President. As a Chicago native, West is running in the presidential election against Donald Trump and Joe Biden. “Kanye? F him,” Rae’s character says.
Well, in true Kanye West fashion, he took to Twitter after the sketch aired to respond to the mention of his name—a move some might say he has even taken from Trump’s playbook. “Ive always said SNL uses black people to hold other black people back,” the musician tweeted. “My heart goes out to Issa Rae,” he continued before adding, “I’m praying for her and her family.”
It’s not surprising that he couldn’t take the joke, but there are a lot of things about West’s tweets that would leave someone scratching their head. For starters, there is no explanation as for why the political candidate’s phone is returning results in Spanish, nor can it really be believed that he was actually that upset by the joke told on SNL (he later retweeted Adele’s announcement that she would be hosting SNL on October 24).
And actually, with regards to his candidacy for President, that’s quite unclear too. Even in the states that list West on their ballot for the upcoming election, he is actually not even listed as a candidate for Commander-in-Chief. West is on the ballot for the Vice President to Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente’s President, as part of a third party.
Rae has yet to respond to West’s “prayers” for her and her family, but something tells us she probably couldn’t care less—nor does she even need to respond or legitimize the criticisms of someone who also appeared on SNL two years ago and wore a MAGA hat while vocalizing his support for the President’s 2020 re-election.