Image: SNL
This did not sit well with audience members.

Since the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial began, it has garnered attention as people choose sides and discuss who they believe is the true abuser. But, it has also created conversation surrounding the way people watch trials like they are fiction or as a source of entertainment but not as an actual trial that affects people’s lives. The conversation increased after Saturday Night Live did a skit surrounding the trial. The skit focused on the portion of the trial that explores the allegations that Amber Heard defecated on Johnny Depp’s pillow. Many found issues with comedians trying to create a joke around something so serious. Although the trial is a defamation trial and not a domestic abuse trial, the contents still focus on incredibly serious and triggering topics around abuse.

For example, one of the jokes was that watching the trial gives you a feeling of happiness and a “glad that is not me” feeling. Another joke called the trial “for fun.” So, it is clear to see that viewers were not pleased. “so y’all saw a case involving testimonies about domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual assault, emotional trauma, mental illness, and medical emergencies including people losing actual body parts… and your first thought was “this would be a funny sketch for our comedy show!” one person commented.

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Many found it inappropriate that a large television show would promote this about a large trial involving abuse. And, many also found it trivializing the case, which is also unhelpful. Some also pointed out that when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, comedians found it horrible and voiced their concerns, but found it okay to joke about this trial. “Every comedian in the world was acting like a slap was the worst thing a person could do a few weeks ago but skits about domestic abuse are apparently fine.

Overall, the skit did not sit well with people, who also commented that the skit was not even funny in the first place. As the trial continues, many continue to discuss why it is not okay to watch the trial like it is fictional and remember they are actual people.