Saturday Night Live’s first Snapchat-exclusive digital short “Boycott” was released today in the app’s Discover section. It follows two New Yorkers (the show’s Aidy Bryant and Beck Bennett) as they try to do some ethical spending — refusing to make purchases that support companies associated with Donald Trump in any way.
Obviously this effort devolves into absurdity, with the characters stripping off everything they’re wearing because it might somehow be morally repugnant to keep on. It’s a pretty easy joke to make about protestors, who rallied around the movement to #DeleteUber with fairly nonsensical moral arguments a couple weeks ago. But while it rightly points out that there are limits to the usefulness of boycotting brands based on their tenuous connections to an odious person, it doesn’t make any attempt to say what those limits are — instead opting to make people who want to take any sort of stand on anything look absurd. On Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update this past Saturday, host Michael Che made a similar comment about how protestors would march in the streets over anything Trump says or does, because they “just don’t like the guy.”
Moving to Snapchat Discover is ostensibly an attempt by NBC to reach a younger audience than the one that watches live broadcast television. Within that demographic, it’s not clear why or how a paternal political bit about young protestors would really land.
The only sharp joke comes when Bennett’s character says they really shouldn’t be using smartphones either, considering major tech companies’ notorious use of child labor in developing countries. “Well, I’m not going to do the Trump thing and the child slave thing too,” Bryant says to an audience who is by default watching this video on a smartphone.
Saturday Night Live’s foray into original Snapchat content is part of a larger push by NBC, which is also planning to release exclusive content from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Voice on the platform.
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