Following an offensive “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring Kenan Thompson, The Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia and its supporters are demanding an apology from Thompson and the show’s producers for an insensitive segment making light of the dreaded and deadly disease.
At an office gift swap party, a beloved co-worker (Kenan Thompson) suffering from sickle cell anemia is surprised with enrollment into a breakthrough medical procedure that can cure the disease, only to have him swap it out for a tacky boogie woogie Santa figure.
The Sickle Cell of Foundation of Georgia issued the following statement:
Sickle cell disease is a serious and debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world.
It is not a joke, and it is not something to be taken lightly. That’s why we were appalled when we saw the recent skit on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (Dec. 16) that made fun of those living with this condition.
It was not only distasteful but also blatantly insensitive, and it only served to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misconceptions about sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is not something that affects people of African descent only. And people with sickle cell disease understand the recent medical breakthroughs just as anyone else does. After all, they are the ones living with the pain that sickle cell causes.
Let us never trivialize a landmark moment in medicine that could save lives in the years to come.
We cannot stand by and allow this kind of ignorance and insensitivity to go unchecked. That’s why we are calling on Kenan Thompson and the producers of Saturday Night Live to apologize to the sickle cell
community for their hurtful and offensive skit. We urge them to take this opportunity to become
advocates for proper understanding and awareness of this condition.
At the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc., we are committed to supporting those affected by this
disease and advocating for better treatment and care. We cannot do it alone, and we need your help.
Join us in the fight against sickle cell disease and stand with us in demanding respect and dignity for all
those living with this condition. Together, we can make a difference and bring about positive change